Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Update: The Courts Act 2003 and additional powers for
the magistracy
o Custody Plus: This will replace sentences of less than 12 months
and is made up of 2 to 13 weeks in custody and then a period out
on licence (minimum of 26 weeks). The period on licence can
include unpaid work, curfew etc.
o Magistrate's custodial powers are increased from 6 to 12 months.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

A guide for applicants
An application form
A job description
The application form asks the applicant to provide the names of at
least three people who are able to comment on their suitability for
appointment. This is to enable views to be gathered on each
applicant's abilities and personal qualities.
Selected candidates are invited to an interview before the advisory
committee/ panel. At the first interview the application form details
are discussed. If he applicant is selected for a second interview, then
"cases" are discussed.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

Please also indicate any
position you hold.
Interview case studies
At the interview with the advisory committee the candidates are
asked their views on various case studies.
Example: football related offence
A football club had succeeded in getting into the play offs for
promotion to a higher division. The match was played at the home
ground of their opponents, Troon Town.
Troon town fans started to shout and protest. Some racist chants
aimed at Mr A, an Irishman, could easily be heard.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

Evidence that most JPs invited to apply by members of the
advisory committee "... the game of choosing JP's is supposed to be
aimed at diversity, but they are more remarkable for their likeness
to one another than their difference" (Tony Gifford QC)
o Evidence to HASC suggested that the average age may be high, e.g.
Kent magistrates- 70% were over 50 and only 3.5% under 40. On
Doncaster bench- 73% over 50.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

In autumn 1998- the government published guidelines on the
appointment of JPs with the Advisory Committee being given
new directions and detailed guidance, e.g. issuing a job
description and key qualities needed. In addition the process of
appointing the Chair of the Advisory Committee and members
needs to be more open with vacancies more widely known.
National Recruitment Strategy for lay Magistrates
A national recruitment strategy was put forward by Lord Falkoner,
when he was Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord
Chancellor.…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

The common perception is that you need to have a legal
qualification or background to become a magistrate. In fact,
suitability for appointment is measured against six key qualities
defining personal fitness, namely:
Good character
Understanding and communication
Social awareness
Maturity and sound temperament
Sound judgement and
Commitment and reliability
Note the absence of "common sense" from the criteria. According
to official guidelines new JPs no longer have to show this attribute
to the selection committee.…read more

Page 8

Preview of page 8

Here's a taster:

Magistrates are not expected to be experts on the law, and the aim
of their training is mainly to familiarise them with court procedure,
the techniques of chairing, and the theory and practice of
sentencing. They undergo a short induction course on appointment,
and have to undergo basic continuous training comprising 12 hours
every three years. Magistrates who sit in juvenile courts or on
domestic court panels receive additional training.…read more

Page 9

Preview of page 9

Here's a taster:

Weight of numbers: as magistrates usually sit in threes it means
that a balanced view is more likely (in comparison with one district
Local knowledge: magistrates must live within a certain distance
from the court in which they sit and consequently will be members
of their local community. Therefore they may have a more
informed picture of local life in the area (and be more able to
empathise) than a professional judge would.…read more

Page 10

Preview of page 10

Here's a taster:

In the case of R v Binham JJ ex parte Jowitt (1974),
a magistrate confirmed this view. In this speeding case the only
evidence was that of the motorist and the police officer. The
chairman of the bench stated: `... my principle in such cases has
always been to believe the evidence of the police officer...'. The
conviction was quashed on appeal because of this remark.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all resources »