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Process and Selection of Magistrates Question

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Introduction

Magistrates are lay persons that decide on cases in courts without having legal knowledge. Process of selection of magistrates Magistrates are appointed by the Lord Chancellor on the recommendation of the committee after being interviewed. Candidates would first go through a 2 stage interview process that tests their personal attributes and potential judicial aptitude through discussion of cases. They would need to possess the 6 key qualities that Lord Chancellor laid down which are: Good Character, Sound Judgement, Maturity, Understanding, Social Awareness, and Commitment. This ensures they are able to have judgelike qualities and are able to assimilate factual information to make reasoned decisions.zl The few qualifications for Magistrates is that they must be 18-65 years old and that they have to live in close proximity to the local justice area in which they are allocated. ...read more.

Middle

This do restricts some people and magistrates could no longer claim to be a representative of the society. Although the requirements are broad, magistrates are usually of similar backgrounds which are aged 40 and above, white and of managerial or professional ranks. Although most magistrates are white, ethnic minorities are well represented as they take up about 8% of the magistrates. There has been campaigns and advertisements in 36 different magazines to encourage people to apply. Also, they can be said to represent society in terms of gender as they have equal proportions of both sex whereas the judiciary only consist 22% of females. ...read more.

Conclusion

Training sessions are usually done locally but the Judicial Studies Board take into account the need to collaborate regionally and nationally. In particular, the training of Youth and Family Panel chairmen is delivered nationally. In the first 2 years of magistrates sitting in court, 8 of 11 sessions will be mentored and magistrates are required to attend training sessions. After 2 years, there will be an appraisal of the magistrates to check if they have acquired the competencies. Those who failed to do so will be given additional training however persistent failure to meet standards may lead to removal by the Lord Chancellor. This appraisal ensures that the quality of magistrates are in check. ...read more.

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