Law Unit 1 Revision Guide





Qualification and selection of magistrates:


·         No legal qualifications required.

·         Some formal requirements:

·         Candidate must have lived in UK for 6 months

·         Aged 18-65 – Retire at 70 but expected to serve 5 years so won’t be appointed past 65.

·         Commitment of 26 half days.

·         Willingness to take oath of allegiance.

·         1998 LC set out 6 key qualities:

·         Good Character.

·         Understanding and communication.

·         Social awareness.

·         Mature + sound temperament.

·         Being of sound judgement.

·         Commitment + reliability.

·         Those NOT eligible:

·         People with serious criminal convictions.

·         Undischarged bankrupts.

·         Anyone elected to parliament or seeking election to.

·         Anyone who works in Prison.O/Traffic.W/A.F/PR.D

·         Anyone with close relative in CJS.

Application process + SELECTION:

·         Application form online, vacancies advertised locally

·         Selection by Local Advisory Committee – made up of mags and non-mags. 

·         LAC do initial checks to ensure candidate is eligible and will ask for references.

·         All eligible candidates asked to first interview:

·         Focused on what is in application form and personal qualities.

·         Some candidates asked to second interview:

·         Focused on judicial aptitude and may involve practical task such as ranking offences.

·         Lac tries to balance the bench when selecting in terms of gender, age, occupation ect.


·         Appointment now made by Senior Presiding Judge for Eng+Wal (used to be LC).



4 Basic Competencies:

·         Managing yourself.

·         Working as a member of a team.

·         Making judicial decisions.

·         Managing judicial decisions (chair).


Training process:

·         Delivered by court clerk.

·         Overseen by judicial college (training materials + syllabus)

·         Initial training includes visit to court + prison, and learn about role and responsibilities.

·         Mentoring: Each new mag has mentor, guide them first few months.

·         Core training takes place over 1st yr, aimed at providing mags with skills they need.

·         Consolidation training takes place end of 1st yr, builds on skills. Prepare 1st appraisal.

·         First appraisal 12-18 months after appointment. Appraised by chief. Ensure demonstrating competencies.



Criminal work:

·         Try 95% of all criminal cases.

·         Decide verdict and pass sentence. (MAX sentence 6 months)

·         Conducting plea before venue hearing for triable either way offences.

·         Determining mode of trial for triable either way offences.

·         Conducting early administrative hearings for summary offences, and preliminary hearings for indictable offences.

·         Sitting with CC judge to hear appeals from mags to Crown against conviction or sentence.

·         Bail applications -Bail act 1976.

Other work:

·         Family court panel – specially trained members – deal with


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