One of the country’s leading criminal defence lawyers has slammed calls for ex-offenders to sit as Magistrates.
Nick Freeman has said that under no circumstances should anyone with a conviction – bar minor traffic offences – be allowed to sit in judgement in Court.
Mr Freeman, aka Mr Loophole, was responding to a recommendation by the Policy Exchange think tank, which said that ex-offenders, who had been crime-free for at least five years, should be allowed to become a Magistrate.
He said: “This perverse recommendation is risable and reflects the ever increasing dilution of our values in society today.”
Mr Freeman added: “I accept that reformed ex-cons can make a useful contribution within the criminal justice system for example by working with young offenders.
“Further, they could contribute usefully to Government discussions on penal reform.”
Last October Mr Freeman vociferously opposed the Magistrates Associations’ proposals to abandon the oath and replace it with a simple promise to tell the truth.
“The Magistrates Association subsequently rejected the proposal at its AGM.”
For Further Information, please contact:
Nick Freeman, 0161 236 7007
David Simister, Different PR, on 0845 389 26 26 / 07870 550 760