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In Parliament “Oral Answers to Questions,” 10th July, Alan Beith MP  (Berwick-upon-Tweed, Liberal Democrat) pointed out that “When fast-track courts were used following the riots, there was a feeling among magistrates that district judges had been used extensively and the lay magistracy had not been used as much as it could have been. Will that happen in Olympic cases, or is the Solicitor-General looking carefully at this?”

Edward Garnier (Solicitor General) replies “the courts will be manned by all appropriate judges. At the Crown court, clearly there will be Crown court judges; in magistrates courts, district judges will be deployed and, where appropriate, justices of the peace will sit in banks of three.”

In otherwords, District judges who sit alone and are paid by the Government will hear the majority of all cases.  What happened to the right to be tried by our peers (lay Magistrates sitting in three)?

It is also interesting to note that the Solicitor General did not dispute the abandonment of the lay magistrates!!

Citation: HC Deb, 10 July 2012, c164

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