How are Magistrates selected?

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  • Created on: 03-02-14 19:31
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1. How are Magistrates selected/appointed/trained? (How do they qualify?)
There are 29,000 lay magistrates in the UK.
Magistrates must be between 18 and 65 on appointment but retire at 70. Most (80%)
are over 50 but younger ones are encouraged (youngest Lucy Tate 19)
They can't have any serious criminal convictions, be a serving police officer or part of the
armed forces, or be undisclosed bankrupt.
They must be prepared to sit for at least 26 half days.
They must possess the 6 key qualities (Girls Usually Scream My Surname Casually)
Good Character
Understanding and Communication
Social Awareness
Maturity and Sound Temperance
Sound Judgement
Commitment and Reliability
They do not need any legal knowledge
Magistrates are meant to represent their local community so they must live or work near
the court they will be sitting in
Adverts for magistrates are placed and attempts are being made to attract people from
diverse backgrounds as they are meant to represent society as the voice of the ordinary
People apply themselves or can be nominated by others. If they are nominated by others
the candidate has to agree.
Applications go to the Local Advisory Committee made up of existing
magistrates, which reviews and shortlists for interviews.
There are two stages of interviews: the first is an assessment of the key
qualities if you pass the second is a discussion of scenarios to test
judicial qualities.
The Local Advisory Committee sends suggested names to the Lord Chancellor who
makes appointments
Lord Chancellor had to bear in mind need for a balanced bench equal number of
men/women, balance of age, not too many from same occupation.
Training run by Judicial Studies Board, who also train judges, but done at a local
level in your court.
New magistrates are given a mentor and have to be observed 811 times in the
first 2 years.
Have to keep a development log and show have gained 4 competences
Managing yourself
Working as a team
Making judicial decisions
Chairmanship training (Not compulsory extra training to become a chairman)
In first year you must do a minimum of 20 hours training in evenings and at
Initial introductory training ­ who is who in court? What are the roles?
Core training ­ acquire skills
Activities e.g. visit prisons.


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