The Single Justice Service (SJS) allows magistrates’ courts to deal with minor offences in a way that’s quicker, more straightforward and more efficient, while still being fair, transparent and rigorous. This process is known as the Single Justice Procedure (SJP).
A single magistrate, supported by a legal adviser, can decide adult, summary-only, non-imprisonable and victimless offences, including company prosecutions.
They can do this when the defendant has pleaded guilty or has not responded to notification that they’re being prosecuted.
The defendant always has the option to choose to attend a hearing in court in person.
Examples of cases covered by the SJP include:
- using a television without a licence
- failing to show a valid train ticket while travelling on a train service
- driving without car insurance
- exceeding a speed limit
- failing to ensure a dependent child’s school attendance
- excess vehicle load
- lack of valid vehicle operator’s licence
Is the Single Justice Service (SJS) quicker, more straightforward and more efficient, while still being fair, transparent and rigorous ?
Justice or Injustice
Bristol woman, 57, prosecuted for not paying for a TV LicenceTristan Kirk on X
“I have no family or friends…my only lifeline is a TV”
Disabled, & depressed after her daughter’s death. Struggles with opening letters. #SingleJusticeProcedure
This is an absolute disgrace.
The Single Justice Procedure is clearly not justice !
Lady Chief Justice to look into flaws of controversial fast-track justice system
Tristan Kirk wrote in the Standard on the 8th February 2024 :-
The top judge in England and Wales has promised to investigate the workings of a controversial fast-track court system after an Evening Standard investigation revealed how the elderly, vulnerable and mentally ill people are convicted in closed-door hearings.
The Lady Chief Justice, Lady Carr of Walton-on-the Hill, backed the single justice procedure when questioned on the fairness of the system, calling it “proportionate” for low-level crimes.
“I think the safeguards are there, both in terms of open justice and protection for the individual involved.”
Lady Carr said she would look into how mentally ill defendants are supported in the procedure, and vowed to inspect how decisions are taken at private hearings. She even suggested she may sit in judgment on SJP cases.Top judge to look into flaws of controversial fast-track justice system
We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).
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