• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the selection, training, and role of lay magistrates.

Extracts from this document...


Describe the selection, training, and role of lay magistrates. Potential magistrates must go through what one would call 'checks' to see if they would be suitable to sit in the position of a magistrate, and fulfil their duties. It is vital that magistrates are appointed carefully since they will hold a great deal of responsibility not only for the courts but for the community as a whole, as they are expected to be respectable and trustworthy citizens. Therefore a selection process is needed in which the names of potential magistrates can be put forward by people who are interested for themselves or by anyone else who wants to nominate a person. For instance groups like; local political parties, trade unions, and chambers of commerce would hand in names of potential magistrates. The Lord Chancellor set out six key qualities which candidates are expected to have these were; good character, understanding and communication, social awareness, maturity and sound temperament, sound judgement, and commitment and reliability. ...read more.


Following the training there are specific roles and areas which a magistrate can get into to carry out their duties. They are mainly connected to criminal cases, although they deal with some civil matters (especially family cases). They try 97% of all criminal cases and deal with preliminary hearings in the remaining 3% of criminal cases. This would involve Early Administrative Hearings, remand hearings, bail applications, and committal proceedings. They also deal with civil matters which include the enforcing of debts owed to the utilities (gas, electric, and water), non-payment of the council tax and non payment of television licenses. In addition they have powers to grant licences for the sale of alcohol and for the betting and gaming establishments. Specially nominates and trained justices form the Youth Court Panel to hear criminal charges against young offenders aged 10 to 17 years old. These magistrates must be under 65 years old. There is also a special panel for the family court to hear family cases including orders for protection against violence, affiliation cases, adoption orders and proceedings under the Children Act 1989. ...read more.


However, as most magistrates come from professional and managerial classes it is unlikely that they live, or have any real knowledge of the problems in poorer areas. Another aspect which would certainly be important to discuss is the fact that some say that lay magistrates tend to be prosecution-biased (believe the police too readily). In contrast to this view however the actual evidence shows that there are very few defendants who appeal against the magistrates' decision and many of the appeals are against sentence and not against the finding of guilty. This would lead one to the conclusion that despite the amateur status of lay magistrates, they do justice to the role given to them. Finally the use of unpaid lay magistrates is cheap; this is a huge advantage, because the cost of replacing them with paid magistrates has been estimated to cost �100 million a year. The cost of a trial in the Magistrates Court is also much cheaper than in the Crown Court. Overall the advantages and disadvantages are both important features to look at, once looked at in depth it can be concluded that the number of advantages and disadvantages are equally balanced. Misbah Hanif ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Police powers

    4 star(s)

    The court shall not allow the confession to be given in evidence against him. It is necessary to look at the reliability of the confession and not necessarily the precise manner in which it is obtained. If it does not seem reliable then it should not be allowed as evidence

  2. essay discussing the advantages and disadvanteges of lay magistrates

    These are offences that can be tried either in the magistrates' court or in the crown court. These are cases that include the like of theft, actual bodily harm and most drug offences. If a suspect doesn't plea guilty or indicates he intends to plead not guilty, he can empower

  1. Describe the main differences between solicitors and barristers with regard to training and work ...

    A duty of care is a legal responsibility put on a person requiring that they use a reasonable standard of care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm their neighbors. A person can only be sued for negligence if they show that there was a duty of care owed,

  2. The Work of the Magistrates Court and Magistrates

    MCCs have no power to own or lease land or premises - all committee premises are owned or leased by the paying authority, which also provide 20% of MCC finding. The other 80% is the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor's department, subject to a cash limit.

  1. The Age Of Criminal Responsibility

    This report was based on one question, "The age of criminal responsibility in England is 10, which allowed James Buglers' killers to be prosecuted. Should it be altered?" (Diane Taylor) This question was put to a specific few people who I will name below including their responses: Dr Ann Hagell

  2. Explain the need for discipline in at least two public services. Analyse the role ...

    Corruption ? Preventing the cause of justice ? Threatening behaviour ? Harassment Behaviours such as the above would not be accepted within the force, but when the community found out about them it would make the community likely to have a flawed look onto the Service. Both the Police service and the Fire service do a great work for the local communities they work in.

  1. The Role of the ICJ

    Resource Efficiency * As international trials can take a large amount of time juries and judges need to make the trials efficient and also fair. * Time in the courts can be wasted in regards to false allegations. Also compensation claims for false imprisonment may be issued - thus wasting time and money.

  2. Should juvenile offenders be treated differently to adult offenders?

    wrong in criminal activity and are still developing, as a result providing protection from the firm operation of the legal system. The law makes special conditions for the protection of juvenile offenders on the basis of age. There is consideration of increasing the age limit from 10-12 to 10-14 as

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work