Magistrates

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  • Magistrates
    • Selection
      • 1) Apply to Magistrate's court
      • 2) Applications sifted through by Local Advisory Committee
      • 3) Second interview based on practical decision making activities
      • 4) If successful, candidates passed on to Lord Chief Justice who will recommend them for appointment by the Lord Chancellor
    • Criteria in the Justice of the Peace Act
      • Aged between 18-70 (over 64s not likely)
      • Need for a balanced bench to represent community is taken into account
      • Certain professions are ineligible e.g. police
      • Criminal convictions or bankruptcy may be disqualified
    • Characteristics wanted
      • Sound temperament
      • Social awareness
      • Maturity
      • Good decision making
      • Commitment and reliability
      • Understanding and communication
      • Sound judgement
    • Role of magistrates
      • Hold summary trials for summary and either way offences
        • Listen to evidence and decide verdict and charges
      • Must sentence- up to 6 months prison or £5,000 fine
      • Advised by a clerk
        • Clerk is also responsible for training, court administration and paperwork
      • Carry out administrative tasks e.g. bail hearings, granting arrest and search warrants, transferring indictable offences, send up if sentencing powers are limited.
      • two JPs sit with judge to hear appeals from Magistrates' court on sentencing
    • Specially trained
      • For Youth Courts
      • For civil proceedings in Family Proceedings court
        • Judicial seperation
        • Adoption
        • Maintenance

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