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  • Created by: serish
  • Created on: 26-05-12 18:34


Lay Magistrates:

  • 29,000 lay magistrates/Justices of the Peace sitting as voluntary part time judges in MC
  • Sit 2 hear cases as bench of 2/3 Magistrates (M) (B4 1996 could be up2 7)
  • Single M sitting on own = limited powers, can issue search warrants, warrants 4 arrest, conduct EAH
  • under S.16(3) of the Justices of the Peace Act 1979 District Judges (DJ) have same power as bench of lay M. (same duties)

History of Magistracy:

  • Dates back 2 12th century, 1195 Richard I appointed 'keepers of the peace'


  • Don't have 2 have any qualifications in law, just some requirements 2 their character. Lord Chancellor set out 6 key qualities which candidates should have in 1998: # Good Character                                                                                             # Understanding + Communication                                                                 # Social Awareness                                                                                           # Maturity + Sound Temperament                                                                   # Sound Judgement                                                                                         # Commitment + Reliability      
  • Must have certain 'judicial' qualities, important they are able 2 assimilate factual information, make reasoned decision upon it , take account of reasoning of others + work as a team   
  • Formal requirements : --> must be aged 18-65 on appointment (rare 4 person ↓27 2 be considered- not enough experience, can sit until 70) -->Up 2 2003, had 2 live within 15 miles of commission are but Courts Act abolished commission areas. Country divided in2 local justice areas specified by Lord Chancellor + M expected 2 live/work within/near local justice area where they are allocated --> must be prepared 2 commit themselves 2 sitting 26 1/2 days annually.
  • Restrictions on appointment: some people not eligible/disqualified 2 be appointed                                                                                                  


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