Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Court Strike

Staff at Her Majesty's Court Service went on strike yesterday. Chaos was caused to my local Magistrates Courts. Quite simply there was a lack of Clerks to run Courts, and there was a distinct lack of staff to run the Courts in terms of administration and list calling.

In Thames Magistrates Court they were running about four Courts with only three Clerks.

The Court staff are striking for a wage increase good luck to them. The public seems to have a perception that people who work within the criminal justice system do not deserve wage increaes because they service criminals.

Listening to the radio today I heard several interviews. Apparently the Court staff are now on a 'go-slow' and will only work 37 hours per week, they will do no more work. If Her Majesty's Court Service staff are now on a 'go-slow' then the system is going to come to a swift halt. Only last week I was at Thames Magistrates Court for an afternoon hearing. There were about 15 cases from the morning list that had not been dealt with in the particular Court that I had my afternoon appearance in. After about an hour the bench retired and came back 30 minutes later announcing that if anyone was on bail and was due to be heard in that Court then their case had been adjourned and they would receive a new Court date in the post at some point in the future.


Anonymous said...

I hope chaos ensues and they get a well deserved pay rise. If only criminal solicitors would be equally militant.

Archbold, the Cat

Unknown said...

I am fully supportive of the efforts of the court staff. The hiearchy in the court system, both magistrates and Crown, reeks of the class system.

Anonymous said...

You think it's bad in the Magistrates' Courts? It's now bad in every court. I am a solicitor-advocate and work mainly in the Chancery Division. This used to be the Rolls-Royce Harry Woolf talked about. Lots of high value cases, but even the small ticket litigation involves interesting issues of law. Just a handful of judges, masters and bankruptcy registrars; a small team of associates drawing the orders.

The system is collapsing because of staff shortages - more work, less people, less experienced (as the od hands jump ship). If it's bad in the Chancery Division it must be ghastly in the Magistrates' Courts