Notes on Magistrates

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Lydia
  • Created on: 23-05-12 09:52
Preview of Magistrates

First 147 words of the document:

Lay Magistrates
Regulated under Criminal Justice Act 2003 and Courts
Act 2003
Over 28,000
No legal qualifications needed
Must live locally
Unpaid, though receive allowances for travel etc.
Aged 1865
Not bankrupt
Not in the armed forces or police
No disability where cannot perform duties
Not a close relative of a Magistrate
The Minister for Justice will not be concerned with
factors such as ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital
status or religion.
Six Key Qualities
Good character
Understanding and communication
Socially aware
Maturity and sound temperament
Sound judgement
Commitment and reliability
Selection and Removal
Vacancies advertised widely to attract diversity
Fill in application form from the LAC (Local Area
Committee) or may be approached by an organisation
to which a person belongs.

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

LAC conduct interviews, usually more than one to
decide if the applicant is suitable.
Appointed nationally rather than locally
Serious vetting
Process is very confidential
LAC's consider personal suitability and the need to
ensure the bench reflects the community it serves.
LAC's make recommendations to Minister
s70 CJA 2003 ­ they may resign at any time, but can
be removed for misbehaviour, incapacity, failing to
meet standards of competence and neglecting their
duties.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Role and Powers
Should sit for at least 26 half days every year.
Should try to be available for 35 half days every year.
Should be prepared to sit for a whole day if needed.
Composition of the Bench
Usually three on the bench
Single lay magistrate can sit alone e.g. to issue arrest
and search warrants.
Will always have available the advice of a
professionally qualified law clerk.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

Sentencing ­ include the imposition of custodial
sentences, fines and community sentences. NOTE that the
combined effect of s154 Criminal Justice Act2003 and
Magistrates Courts' Act 1980 is that the maximum
sentence is imprisonment/fine is 12 months and £5,000.
Must consult Magistrates' Court sentencing guidelines.
2) Bail ­ applications regulated by Bail Act 1976
Civil Cases
1) Family Court Panels ­ specially selected and trained
members of this panel deal with a wide range of matters,
usually from the breakdown of a marriage.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

Class ­ `not a true reflection'. Mostly from `professional
and managerial ranks'. Mainly middle class.
Age ­ 78% over 50
Political ­ 2003 34.4% Conservative, 25.5% Labour and
13.1% Lib Dem.
Advantages of Magistrates
Local Knowledge ­ will know of problems in their local
Democratic ­ they are the people's judges, providing
a wide crosssection of society. 33% of people think
that they are legally qualified.
Cost ­ cheap because unpaid and the trials are less
expensive.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

Inconsistent ­ 2006 Home Office Report shows the
northeast gave more lenient sentencing e.g. 20% of
burglary offenders sentenced to immediate custody in
Teeside, 41% in Birmingham. However only 4%
receive a prison sentence, so it needs to be seen in
Clerk Reliance ­ does not prevent inconsistencies
because the clerk is not allowed to help them decide
on a sentence.
Wealthier Magistrates' may not have good knowledge
and understanding of the poorer areas and working
class males make up most criminals.…read more



clear and very easy to understand

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all resources »