Magistrates

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  • Magistrates
    • Qualifications
      • Over 18 but under 65
      • Be able to serve for 5 years
      • Need to be in court for 26 half days
      • Need to be able to hear evidence with or without an hearing aid.
      • Need to be able to sit and concentrate for long periods of time
      • It will be unlikely that you will become a magistrate if you have any serious criminal convictions or any repeating minor offences such as a speeding ticket.
      • Must live or work near the court.
    • Work of the magistrates
      • 1) issuing warrants for search and arrest
      • 2) Prelimary issues E.g bail applicants, funding, mode of trial hearing & sending for trial
      • 3) Trials - summary & TEW
      • 4) Sentencing but have limited powers of 6 months imprisonment and £5000 fine
      • 5) appeals from magistrates court.
    • Selection & Appointments
      • 1) Advertisment > application form > interview by local advisory committee (panel of 12)
        • 2) First interview > Second interview to discuss qualities & case studies
          • Appointed by the Lord Chancellor on reccommendation of the local advisory committee
    • Training
      • The Judicial college provides training to the magistrates.
        • The justices Clerk provides all essential training to magistrates.
      • First year training
        • 3) Core training
          • To develop key skills, knowledge and understanding E.g by visiting prisons
        • 2) Mentoring
          • To get advice and feedback from a senior magistrate
        • 4) first appraisal
          • To see how well theyre doing
        • 1) initial training
          • This is to understand the organisation and roles and resoncibilites
      • Ongoing trainging
        • 2) Continuation
          • To update initial training
        • 1) second appraisal
          • To see how youre doing
        • 3) Update
          • Recap
      • Further training
        • For family and youth court or to become a chairman.
    • 6 key qualities
      • 4) Maturity & sound temprement
      • 3) Social awareness
      • 5) Committed and reliable
      • 2) Good character
      • 6) Sound judgement
      • 1) Understanding & a good communication
    • Advantages
      • 2) Local knowlegde - live or work in the area so they know the problems it has and this can be taken into account when sentencing
      • 1) Cross section of society - Good gender balance and an improved ethnic balance. Theyre from "all walks of life"
      • 3) Cheaper & Quicker than being sent to the crown court
    • Disadvantages
      • 2) Inconsistant with sentencing and granting bail
      • 3) Rely to heavily on legal advisor as they arent legally trained.
      • 1) Not representitive - Middle class, middle minded and middle ages does not represent the whole of society  such as a young person from a poor area.
    • Composition of the bench
      • "Middle aged, middle class and middle minded" - average age of 40
      • From proffessional backgrounds
      • 40% retired
      • 50% female, 50% male
      • 7% of an ethnic minority

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