Best new blog on the block

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

A great new blog if you haven't seen it yet is The Law West of Ealing Broadway, by a magistrate in (more or less) my part of London.

For those living somewhere not covered by the British judicial system, magistrates are civilians with no legal training who sit as a panel trying minor offences. Any major case gets shunted upstairs from the Magistrates' Court to a judge and jury on the Crown Court.

It's a great system, and it's produced a great blog.

From The Law West of Ealing Broadway:

There is something about the law that attracts acronyms and jargon. As Latin slowly disappears from everyday use in the courts it is more than replaced by impenetrable sets of initials.

(snip)

The Lord Chancellor's Department is now the Department for Constitutional Affairs, or decaff to those in the trade. The rather homely lady who used to be the secretary to the Clerk is now the Justices' Liaison Officer, or J-Lo.

(snip)

Drivers with dodgy cars get a VDRS and drink drivers may be offered the DDRS, although they might have a CPO as well. And we have to tell DVLA about that.

When the Justices of the Peace Act was passed in 1368 (it's still in force) things were rather simpler.

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I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.