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1. What is the work/role of Magistrates?
Magistrates are volunteers who are lay people trained to do the job
They are unpaid but get expenses
All criminal cases in the UK start in the Magistrates Court, with 93% of all cases are
dealt with and finish there too.
2million criminal cases a year (1million of which are driving offences)
Listen to evidence decide on guilt/innocence and sentence in summary cases
and either way cases heard in magistrates courts.
In Either way cases they conduct a plea before venue to ask defendant where they
want to be tried they can overrule a defendants verdict if they don't feel sentencing power
In indictable cases they check there is sufficient evidence for a trail and then
transfer it to Crown Court (committal)
Some specially trained can hear Youth cases (age 1017, all crimes except
murder) and family cases.
They grant Bail under the 1976 Bail Act but can refuse if
You might not turn up for trial
You are a danger to public
You might commit further crimes
Threaten or contact witnesses
Hear Appeals in Crown court, 2 magistrates sit with Crown Court Judge
Issue Warrants (arrest and search to police)
Grant Legal Aid