When it comes to the Criminal Justice system this Government has undoubtedly been the most legislative-obsessed tinkerers in history. They've created literally hundreds of new crimes without the forethought that the prison population might expand, scrapped trial by jury in some cases, and passed umpteen Criminal Justice Acts in the process.
The latest idiocy appears to be a plan for the formalisation of mobocracy in the Magistrate Courts. Effectively, the mob, sorry, the "community" will be given a say in sentencing.
According to the Government, there will now be scope for something called "Community Impact Statements" in Magistrates Courts. This will let local people tell the court how the convicted person[s] has blighted their lives and community. They will then be allowed to put forward how they think the convicted should be sentenced.
By all accounts, that suggests that the a Magistrate is no longer actually being a judge at all, the mob is.