OPINION: Don’t judge magistrates too harshly

MAGISTRATES see the worst side of humanity in their courtrooms every day. They see and hear things that would make most people shudder.

Their job is an unenviable one. They can never please everyone, whether it's victims of crime who feel a criminal has been let off too lightly, or the defendants who insist they have been hard done by.

Like many people, I believe the legal system in Queensland is often too soft on criminals. But we can't just point the finger and accuse our magistrates of being lenient.

There are numerous factors - which can't always be reported for legal reasons - such as criminal history, case law, and mandatory sentencing that must be taken into account.

Unless you have sat in on an entire court hearing and heard all the arguments, it's impossible to determine whether you would have come to the same conclusion.

And magistrates might be sharp-minded professionals, but they are human too. That is why we have checks and balances such as the Court of Appeal.

Our court houses are open to the public for the majority of cases.

Before you judge a magistrate for being too strict or too soft, attend a criminal hearing and put yourself in their shoes.



CQ child safety investigations go up by 325 cases

CQ child safety investigations go up by 325 cases

Less than 40 per cent of QLD investigations commenced on time.

Class action being explored after Spirit of 1770 sinking

Class action being explored after Spirit of 1770 sinking

John Clayton says the towns should be compensated for lost income.

Bundy man's life spirals out of control after parents' death

Bundy man's life spirals out of control after parents' death

Death Bundy teen's mum, step-dad in crash catalyst for spiral.

Local Partners