The disadvantages of the use of magistrates

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Unrepresentative of society

Surveys show that as a whole the majority of magistrates are white, middle class, professional & wealthy, even though this can vary a little in general there is a huge issue about age and race.


Only 5% of magistrates are uner 40 years old despite their being an age reduction.

There are two-thirds of lay magistrates which have professional or managerial backgrounds, whereas in the whole country only one-third have managerial or professional backgrounds.

Two-fifths of magistrates are retired.

Even though there is staring to be an increasing number of young magistrates, a lot of people believe they lack the experience and maturity to take part in such a role.

Because Magistrates work in the Magistrates court the vast majority of defendants are under twenty five years old, this means that the white, middle aged, professional and wealthy magistrates may find it difficult to understand the life of a young working class adult.


This has become a major criticism for lay magistrates as research shows that there are some variances in sentencing and despite the effort made to try to e more consistent, it still has not…


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