Courts Hit By Disillusioned Litigants?

Bristol CJC

Bristol CJC

Our new shiny Civil Justice Centre AND Magistrates court appear to have been smashed up on two consecutive nights this week. I understand from local radio the Bristol Mags suffered some smashing and graffiti (“FIGHT BACK”), and the BBC reports that hammers were used and that the attack was carried out by 2 men dressed in black. I also told that on the following night Bristol Civil Justice Centre was attacked with a catapult and stones. About half a dozen 10 ft high panes along the front of the new building are shattered and awaiting replacement in what must have been quite a deliberate attack. Both courts have CCTV outside, as you might expect. Based on that information it sounds as if the attacks were premeditated and reasonably well planned – tools taken, identity hidden etc.

It seems a reasonable guess that both attacks were carried out by the same people or group (although the second could have been a copycat). Of course the only category of case which is routinely dealt with in both the Magistrates AND the County Court is family work. And in Bristol the FPC often sits in the County Court building, and the County Court often deals with family cases in the Magistrates court when it has need of the cells (when a party is a prisoner). IF the attacks are connected, an obvious question is whether or not the person(s) responsible are aggrieved at the family courts? That would be my guess. My second guess would be that we have to expect more of this in the brave new world without legal aid, as more and more people are likely to be left having either suffered an injustice or feeling that they have so suffered.

8 thoughts on “Courts Hit By Disillusioned Litigants?

  1. I doubt this has anything whatsoever to do with Legal Aid, except perhaps those causing this damage might have been up against a resident parent who has been on Legal Aid, which has assisted that parent in denying children contact with the other parent.

    The shared/equal parenting groups are quite busy at the moment such as 3 of them on the Deputy Prime Ministers roof this morning – the criminal damage may be something totally unrelated (very likely imho) to family law although it could be an extreme father rights attack (getting to be like the suffragettes although bombs and physical violence as the suffragettes used many years ago has not been used).

    Legal Aid to one party (generally resident parent) has many times over the years caused real frustration and anger to the other parent (usually a non-resident dad). Because they face a mother who has a solicitor and barrister following instructions to limit/stop contact, paid from tax payers monies. That is the anger prevalent in many users of the family courts who feel they are not treated fairly.

  2. Family courts -named Kangaroo courts by the people who use them. No justice,or if there is at the end then the person has been through hell for no purpose.There is no accountability of various, I use the term loosely,professionals and magistrates and or judges that don’t seem to possess any common sense and allow perjury in their courts and dont follow the law themselves

  3. I wonder whether anyone sggested, at the planning stage, that plate glass might not be the ideal material for a cout building…?

    Also, wondering whether the vandalism may have been connected with the various anti-capitalist/occupy wall street style protests, with the court being seen as an arm of the state?

    But I agree that we may see more of this sort of thing as the number of unrepresented and disgruntled litigants grows.

  4. I appreciate that the loss of legal aid, and the reduction in the level of legal aid paid out, are going to cause some hardship, but surely you are not suggesting that a pair of aggrieved family barristers are responsible for these attacks? That would be a very worrying development.

  5. i hate getting sent to bristol, but i didn’t do it, honest. and it couldn’t have been the cps, as it actually happened and was at the court rather than some unrelated building with a different name in a remote location.
    so who could it have been?

  6. blimey – good job you’re doing the cross-examining; you crack really easy!

  7. […] rights…. Lucy Reed at Pink Tape considers a problem which can only get worse: Courts Hit By Disillusioned Litigants? John Bolch, whose Family Lore blog is more often than not practical and serious, does find time to […]

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