Outline the QUALIFICATIONS for appointment as a lay Mag and the training (10)

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Qualification of Lay Magistrates

To become a lay Magistrate a person must be:

  • Between 18-65.
  • On the electoral role.
  • A resident of the UK for 5 years, since the age of 13.
  • There are no legal qualifications required. 
  • The Department of Constitutional Affairs gives the 6 stated criteria: (GSCUM)
    • Good Character. 
    • Social Awareness
    • Commitment and reliability
    • Understanding and Communications
    • Mature and sound temparment
    • Sound Judgment 
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Qualification of Lay Magistrates part 2

  • The Department of Constitutional Affairs gives the 6 stated criteria: (GSCUM)
    • Good Character. 
      • E.g. Confidence and trust of the public.
    • Social Awareness
      • Appreciation of different cultures, ethnicity and understanding of the local community.
    • Commitment and reliability
      • E.g. Time commitment, for at least 26 sessions a year and have support from family/employer and undergo training.
    • Understanding and Communications
      • E.g. to find relevant factors and follow evidence, and communicate effectively.
    • Mature and sound temparment
      • E.g. Have humanity qualities, be fair, unbiased and cortesy.
    • Sound Judgment
      • Think logically, weigh up arguments, control prejudices and reach a sound decision. 
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Training of Lay Magistrates

Training of Lay Magistrates includes:

  • They must swear an Oath of Allegiance.
  • The Judicial College oversees training nationally, and is delivered by the Justice's Clerk locally.
  • The 4 areas of competence includes:
    • Managing yourself
    • Working as a team member
    • Making judicial decisions
    • Managing judicial decisions (only for the Chairperson).
  • The 3 key areas of training are:
    • 1) Introductory Training
    • 2) Core Training
    • 3) Activities
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1) Introductory Training

The first stage of training is called the Introductory training:

  • This includes preliminary reading. 
  • They must understand the organisation of the bench.
  • They must also understand the roles and responsiblities of personnel in the MC.

The second stage of training is called the Core Training:

  • This helps the lay magistrates to acquire and develop the key skills of a Magistrate.

The 3rd stage of training of training is called Activities:

  • This is where the lay magistrates must visit:
    • Youth offending institutions
    • Prison
    • Court obersvations
    • A probationary service.
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Last areas of training

The last areas of training include:

  • Lay magistrates must complete workbooks, and are given guidance adult, family, youth and bench, books. 
  • They are given a legal experienced Mentor, who they have 6 sessions with over 2 years.
  • Between 8-11 sessions in court are mentored. 
  • Specialist areas, such as family and the Youth Court, requires further training. 
  • They have consolidation training after 1 year.
  • At the end of their 2nd year, they have an appraisal and thereafter every 5 years
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