Lay magistrates do not need any qualifications in law; all they need is training under MNTI 2 and certain qualities in order to carry out the duties that they need to.
These were set out by the Lord Chancellor in 1998 to help select the most appropriate candidates for the role.
They must have good:
- Understanding and Communication
- Social awareness
- Maturity and Sound temerament
- Sound Judgement
- Commitment and Reliability
They must also have certain judicial qualities, e.g. be able to understand important, factual information, make reasonable decisions based upon the information, work as a team and take into account the reasoning of others.
They must also have the correct age and residency, e.g. live or work within or near to the local justice area in which they have been appointed and be between the age of 18 and 65.
Lay Magistrates must also be able to commit themselves to sitting 26 half-days per year.
The people who are not eligible to be appointed include people with serious criminal convictions, people with disabilities that make them manifestly unsuitable for…