Austere Justice

I was in Uxbridge County Court on Friday for an FDR. We managed to agree a final order and went into see the judge. The judge duly approved the order and signed it and then asked us if we wanted photocopies, which we did. He rang for the usher but got no reply. We waited. The judge informed us that due to cuts,  there was only one usher working at the court, and tried ringing for the usher, but again got no reply (she was no doubt busy with the 3 other courts upstairs. The judge amused us with a few anecdotes, and tried once more, but again no answer. Eventually he said he would go and photocopy the orders himself and meet us at the counter, which was unmanned. We left court and waited at the counter. There were a couple of members of the public at the counter hoping to be able to make inquiries, but all the blinds were  closed. Eventually one of the blinds was raised. It was the judge with our photo copied orders, which he handed to us.  The members of the public walked up to the counter, but by the time they got there, the judge had pulled down the blind in order to return to court for his next hearing. One of the member’s of the public rolled their eyeballs as if to say “call this justice?” With 40 per cent cuts on the horizon, how much longer will it be before judges are expected to check for metal objects at the court door, along with their photocopying and judicial duties ?

Chris McWatters


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