advantages--- there are thousands of committed volunteers who willingly give up their time to save the community. - magistrates are More representative of and have more knowledge of local communities than judges.-- a bench of three allows for a balanced view.-- the fact that there are a few successful appeals indicates that they reach correct decisions most of the time.
Disadvantages--- magistrates are criticised for inconsistency for sentencing for the same crimes in different local areas.-- magistrates have been criticised for believing the police version of events to readily.-- magistrates are slower at decision- making than a district judge as they have to discuss issues as a bench of 3 and rely on clerk for legal issues.-- magistrates are sometimes called the 'backbone' or the 'workhorse' of the criminal justice system because they hear the vast majority of all criminal cases.-- there are over 30,000 magistrates in the uk, hearing over 95% of all criminal trails
Selection of appointment.---
Appointment.--the committee recommends the suitable people to the local lord chancellor. He will the. Pick them from a list.
Selection.--- a potential magistrate applies to the magistrates court. Applicants are viewed by the local advisory committee. They then invite applicants for the interviews based on the criteria in justice of the peace act of 1997
Key qualities of a magistrate
good characters — #good characters — #good characters — #good characters
- understanding — #- understanding — #- understanding — #- understanding
- social awareness — #- social awareness — #- social awareness — #- social awareness
maturity — #maturity — #maturity — #maturity
commitment — #commitment — #commitment — #commitment
Applicants must be aged between 18-70 (although over 65 people are unlikely to be appointed)-- the need must be taken into account for a balanced bench to represent the local community.-- certain professionals are ineligible, including members of the police service.
The first part of training is carried out before they can start sitting as a magistrate.-- magistrates have a mentor who is a professional magistrate.-- all new lay magistrates must undergo training.
1. Managing yourself--this focuses on some of the basic aspects of self management in relation to preparing for court,conduct in court and ongoing learning.
2. Working as a member for a team- this focuses on the team aspect of decision making in the magistrates court.
3. Making judicial decisions-- this focuses on important and structured decision making
During the first two years of the new magistrates sitting in court, between 8 and 11 of the sessions will be mentored. Any magistrates ego cannot show that they have achieved this will be given extra training.
Role of magistrates-- magistrates must commit to sitting for a min of 26 half days per year.--employers legally obliged to release them for a reasonable amount of time to perform their duties.-- they usually. Sit at a bench of 3 with a chair person 2 'wingers'.-- the chair person is the only one to speak while the magistrates retire to discuss the verdict.---
Special trained JPs sit in the civil proceedings in the family law for, judicial separation adoption and maintance.--two JPs sit with a judge to hear appeals from magistrates court, in crown court.-- a trained panel of JPS (can sit in a youth court 10-17)