Become a magistrate – GOV.UK

Magistrates are volunteers who hear cases in courts in their community. They can hear cases in the criminal court, the family court, or both.

Each case is usually heard by 3 magistrates, including a magistrate who is trained to act as a chairperson.

A legal adviser in the court gives advice on the law and makes sure the magistrates follow the right procedures.

https://www.gov.uk/become-magistrate

An interesting video, arguing that Aristotle was wrong; there are far more than five senses. Does that challenge our thinking on what is acceptable evidence?

Scientists have long known that there’s much more to our experience than the five senses (or ‘outward wits’) described by Aristotle – hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste. Yet the myth of five senses persists, perhaps because a clearer understanding of our sensory experience at the neurological level has only recently started to take shape. In this instalment of Aeon’s In Sight series, the British philosopher Barry C Smith argues that the multisensory view of human experience that’s currently emerging in neuroscience could make philosophising about our senses much more accurate, and richer, allowing philosophers to complement the work of scientists in important ways. But first, philosophy must catch up to the major advances being made in brain science

Link to video: here

A new Government consultation aims to gather views on various aspects of their plans for regulation and tackling online harms, including: the online services in scope of the regulatory framework; options for appointing an independent regulatory body to implement, oversee and enforce the new regulatory framework; the enforcement powers of an independent regulatory body; potential redress mechanisms for online users; and measures to ensure regulation is targeted and proportionate for industry.

The Online Harms White Paper sets out the government’s plans for a world-leading package of measures to keep UK users safe online.
— Read on www.gov.uk/government/consultations/online-harms-white-paper

Children’s Commissioner for England warns the same mistakes that led to child sexual exploitation are being repeated with gangs | Children’s Commissioner for England

Children’s Commissioner for England warns the same mistakes that led to child sexual exploitation are being repeated with gangs | Children’s Commissioner for England
— Read on www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/2019/02/28/childrens-commissioner-for-england-warns-the-same-mistakes-that-led-to-child-sexual-exploitation-failings-are-being-repeated-with-gangs/

Shortage of lay magistrates – become a magistrate – GOV.UK

The House of Commons Justice Committee has blamed government failure for the dramatic fall in magistrate numbers in England and Wales.

The committee says the recent shortfall is “as frustrating as it was foreseeable” and that it has taken a “near crisis” to prompt the government into acting.

In 2016, the committee warned the government that magistrates faced unresolved issues that related to their role, workload and morale, with serious recruitment and training problems being the main factor.

How to volunteer as a magistrate, who can and can’t apply, the application form, and what magistrates do in court
— Read on www.gov.uk/become-magistrate

Excellent and progressive idea in restorative practice: ‘Improving the quality of frontline social work’ | Sutton Social Care | The Guardian

As part of a transformation programme, the London borough of Sutton has introduced a new way of delivering social work. Steering away from box-ticking, the council’s new approach is more personal and effective
— Read on amp.theguardian.com/sutton-social-care/2019/jun/03/restorative-practice-improving-the-quality-of-frontline-social-work

Jessica Easton supporting children and families without traumatic imagery Practitioner resource and guide that is free and accessible collection of ideas and advice for practitioners working in child sexual exploitation (CSE) and abuse.

Official home of VictimFocus and Jessica Eaton. Dedicated to fighting victim blaming of adults and children who have been affected by sexual violence, abuse and trauma. Delivering consultancy, training, psychology of abuse, resources and e-learning for professionals and public all over the world.
— Read on victimfocus.org.uk/resources-for-professionals

Hikikomori – a term seldom used and uncommon to most people but for some, psychologists are beginning to take more cognisance. “People Who Withdraw From Society For Months Or Years On End”

New Insights Into Hikikomori – People Who Withdraw From Society For Months Or Years On End – Research Digest
— Read on digest.bps.org.uk/2019/05/22/new-insights-into-hikikomori-people-who-withdraw-from-society-for-months-or-years-on-end/amp/

Fascinating update (study) ‘How Attachment Style Changes Through Multiple Decades Of Life.’ Spoiler alert: it is not all down to parents.

“Attachment theory, which was first proposed in the 1950s by the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby, is one of the most influential in psychology. It argues for the importance of our earliest relationships with our caregivers, and predicts that these formative bonds will shape the nature of our connections with other people for the rest of our lives. Remarkably, however, psychologists still know relatively little about how people’s attachment style – essentially their characteristic style of relating to other people – typically varies through life. “How do attachment orientations change across the life span? Unfortunately … this critical question has eluded researchers,” write William Chopik and colleagues in their recently published paper in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
— Read on digest.bps.org.uk/2019/05/09/first-study-to-investigate-how-attachment-style-changes-through-multiple-decades-of-life/amp/

Complaining works: The Council considered Mr B deliberately and intentionally deprived himself of assets to avoid paying care charges to local authority. On investigation of a formal complaint by Mrs B, the local authority accepted their response to Mrs B’s complaint contradicts there initial assessment and agreed to write off the outstanding debt.

  1. The Care and Support Guidance 2014 explains how councils should assess a person’s financial contribution. It says:
    • People with care and support needs are free to spend their income and assets as they see fit, including making gifts to family and friends. This is important for promoting their well-being and enabling them to live fulfilling and independent lives. However, it is also important that people pay their fair contribution towards their care and support costs;
    • There are some cases where a person may have tried to deliberately avoid paying for care and support costs through depriving themselves of assets, either capital or income. In such cases, the Council may either charge the person as if they still possessed the asset or, if the asset has been transferred to someone else, seek to recover the lost income from that person;
    • The person must have known they needed care and support. Avoiding charges must have been a significant motivation in the timing of the disposal of the asset. The person must also have expected to have to make contributions towards his or her care charges.

You can read the full details here

Very useful case that highlights the need to establish what litigation is planned – once you start it is too late. Similarly with statutory complaints into social services

DEFENDANT CAN ONLY RESPOND TO THE CASE AS PLEADED: COURT REJECTS CLAIMANTS’ ATTEMPTS TO INTRODUCE NEW ISSUES

http://www.civillitigationbrief.com/2019/05/14/defendant-can-only-respond-to-the-case-as-pleaded-court-rejects-claimants-attempts-to-introduce-new-issues/
— Read on www.civillitigationbrief.com/2019/05/14/defendant-can-only-respond-to-the-case-as-pleaded-court-rejects-claimants-attempts-to-introduce-new-issues/

In modern Britain “vulnerable children being locked up in B&Bs and caravans” this is cruel and inhumane

Vulnerable children are being locked up in B&Bs and caravans as swingeing funding cuts mean local councils are unable to place them in formal care settings, critics have warned. Hundreds of those affected – some as young as 10 – who are at risk of exploitation are becoming “completely invisible”, as they are incarcerated in unregulated accommodation due to a lack of secure
— Read on www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/children-locked-up-cuts-b-and-bs-funding-commissioner-report-england-a8915636.html

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said inspectors would be reviewing services run by the NHS contractor Cygnet Health Care across the country – and appealed for anyone with concerns to come forward

An investigation has begun into a major care provider after police were called in over alleged psychological and physical abuse of patients with learning disabilities at one of its homes. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said inspectors would be reviewing these and similar services run by the NHS contractor Cygnet Health Care across the country – and appealed for anyone with
— Read on www.independent.co.uk/news/health/care-home-abuse-care-learning-disability-cygnet-whorlton-hall-durham-cqc-a8908081.html

The child exploitation disruption toolkit is aimed at frontline staff, including law enforcement, social care, education & others, who work to safeguard children and young people under the age of 18 from #CSE & criminal exploitation.

Disruption tactics for those working to safeguard children and young people under the age of 18 from sexual and criminal exploitation.
— Read on www.gov.uk/government/publications/child-exploitation-disruption-toolkit

RSA response to the Timpson Review of School Exclusion – RSA

Having explored this important and growing problem, RSA welcomes many of the recommendations to try and better support children who are excluded from school and children from groups who are more likely to be excluded:

  • children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
  • children with speech, language and communication difficulties
  • children from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • children who have received support from social care
  • children with a ‘Child in Need’ plan.

https://www.thersa.org/discover/publications-and-articles/rsa-blogs/2019/05/timpson

Dr Hannah Stringer, Clinical Psychologist and Senior Mental Health Practitioner at Project Future about their work supporting young men in London.

Project Future is a community-based holistic wellbeing and mental health service jointly funded by Big Lottery, Comic Relief, NHS England, Haringey Council and other private funders. It was set up to work with young men aged 16-25 with experiences of the criminal justice system, specifically those exposed to serious youth violence or labelled “gang-affiliated”. It aims to improve young people’s wellbeing, access to services, and education, employment and training opportunities with the long-term aim of reducing marginalisation and offending.

Read more here (published by Justice Innovation

 

‘Cleansed by cuts’ yet “Keble secondary school, in the pretty hilltop village of Eastcombe, Gloucestershire, has worked hard to make the school inclusive. In the top 30% nationally for student progress and attainment.” Not to be underestimated achievement and very hard to emulate in high density areas.

‘Cleansed by cuts’: schools refuse places to special needs pupils

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/may/07/cuts-heads-refuse-school-places-pupils-special-needs?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_WordPress

Sad but too common “Darryl Nicholson, 47, has stage three emphysema – a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary – that causes the destruction of the lungs and means he struggles with daily tasks such as shortness of breath, wheezing and fatigue” forced back into work. Based on this article DWP are being extremely unfair.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dying-dad-told-hes-fit-14995339.amp?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar&__twitter_impression=true

Inspiring article ‘Jon Adams was aged 52 learnt learned he had Asperger syndrome. He and others explain the impact – The Guardian

Jon Adams was 52 when he learned he had Asperger syndrome. As adult referrals rise, he and others explain the impact – good and bad – of a late diagnosis
— Read on amp.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/19/autism-diagnosis-late-in-life-asperger-syndrome-john-harris

Born of injustice – troubling reporting supported by the BMA – looking at perceived failures in our laws that result in babies being separated from their biological mothers

Junior doctor Carrie Adams had her baby taken away when she was a day old. Now she has won the right to reveal what happened to her.

Now, with the BMA’s help, she has won the right to reveal what happened to her.
— Read on www.bma.org.uk/features/bornofinjustice/

The thousands of children missing out on key support for diagnosed special educational needs in England”, it absolutely is ‘a national scandal.’ Depriving those already disadvantaged of a decent education is tantamount to robbery.

Missing special needs support ‘a national scandal’ – BBC News
— Read on www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/education-46400397

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) meant many private family law cases (including arrangements that can result in one parent not seeing their children at all ) do not qualify for a publicly funded lawyer.

Family Lawyers Are Turning Away Thousands Of People In Child Access Battles Thanks To Legal Aid Cuts
— Read on www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/emilydugan/parents-family-court-no-lawyer-legal-aid-cuts

This is a blog post by Louise Tickle, journalist member of The Transparency Project. It relates to yesterday’s Times article by Andrew Norfolk and the blog post from our chair Lucy Reed that we published yesterday in response, and in which we indicated that we might in due course publish other posts which expressed different views. You can read that blog and link to the original Times article here

I’d have written that article too | The Transparency Project
— Read on www.transparencyproject.org.uk/id-have-written-that-article-too/

Today the High Court granted permission for a judicial review challenge to the exorbitant fees that the Home Office charges to children registering as British citizens. The Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens argues that charging kids £1,012 to take up their legal entitlement to become British is unlawful.

The High Court has granted permission for a judicial review challenging the exorbitant fees that children registering as British citizens are forced to pay.
— Read on www.freemovement.org.uk/permission-granted-registration-fees-judicial-review/

Universal credit ‘a serious threat to public health, after a study revealed that the stress of coping with the new benefits system had so profoundly affected claimants’ mental health that some considered suicide.’

Research for Gateshead council finds system increases depression and anxiety
— Read on amp.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/15/exclusive-new-study-links-universal-credit-to-increased-suicide-risk

One hoax phone call, 12 years behind bars: the prisoners with learning disabilities – excellent report by journalists at the Guardian

A disproportionate number of people in UK prisons have learning disabilities. Three of them tell their stories
— Read on amp.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/27/one-hoax-phone-call-12-years-behind-bars-the-prisoners-with-learning-disabilities