Lay Magistrates

HideShow resource information
View mindmap
  • Lay Magistrates
    • Qualifications
      • 18-65
      • committed to 26 half days a year
      • McGuss
      • live or work near local justice area
    • interviews
      • done by the local advisory committee
      • 1st= McGuss criteria
      • 2nd=practical judgement
    • disqualifications
      • incompatible jobs
        • Police
        • parking attendant
          • many driving offences
      • if you have serious criminal conviction
      • if you are an undischarged bankrupt
      • member of armed forces
    • appointment
      • approximately 1,500 appointed every year
      • when there are not enough district judges are appointed
      • aim for a balanced bench
    • role
      • criminal
        • deal with 97% of criminal cases
        • hear all summary matters
        • deal with some TEW matters - plea before venue, EAH
        • refer some TEW matters and Indictable to crown court
        • appeal against decisions - heard in crown court
        • Ancillary matters - EAH, legal aid, bail etc
      • Civil
        • non-payment of council tax and TV licences
        • family court - adoption, orders, protection against violence
        • enforcement of debts owed to utilities e.g. gas, electric
        • appeals against refusal of alcohol and gaming licences
    • advantages
      • cheap -cost effective
        • cost of DJ's a year would be £100million a year
        • voluntary - only expenses paid
        • average magistrates case costs £900 compared to £1700 in crown court
      • local and open justice
        • use to be 15 mile requirement - now abolished
        • allow local community to have their say on open days
          • more in touch with the people they deal with
      • represent a cross section of society
        • 8% are ethnic minorities
        • nearly 27,000 magistrates
        • gender - 48.9% men and 50.1% women
      • few appeals
        • less than 1% of decisions challenged
    • disadvantages
      • lack of young people
        • due to being voluntary work
        • 4% under 40
        • over 50% are 60+
      • unlikely to live in poor area of society
        • lack of understanding
      • inefficient
        • costs £270 for every inefficient trial
        • one DJ can do the job of 30 magistrates
          • can get through more cases in less time
      • inconsistency in sentencing
        • no legal qualifications
        • receive different training
        • Licolnshire 4.1% defendant sent to immediate custody compared to 13.8% in Humberside
      • not a trial by one's peers
        • magistrates convict around 90% of cases

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all The Criminal courts and lay people resources »