Magistrates try 97% of all criminal cases and deal with preliminary hearings in the remaining 3%. This involves Early Administrative hearings, remand hearings, bail and committal proceedings. They also deal with civil issues such as enforcing utilities debts, the non-payment of council tax and TV licences. They also hear appeals on the refusal to grant licence for the sale of alcohol.
Specially nominated and trained justices form the Youth panel to hear criminal charges against young offenders aged 10-17 years old. They must consist of 1 man and 1 woman. There is also a Family panel that hears family cases which include protection against violence, affiliation and adoption orders.