Becoming a Magistrate

Once you’ve read about the role of a magistrate, here you can find out how to take the next steps with your application

What training do I need to be a magistrate?

Magistrates do not need any specific legal training, nor do they sit exams. A magistrate undergoes mandatory training of about 3 and a half days before sitting in court, and will be allocated a mentor for their first year.

After a magistrate has sat for 12 months, they will be regularly appraised by specially-trained magistrates.

All magistrates are expected to keep their knowledge up-to-date and to attend on-going training sessions.

Find out more about the transferable skills you can acquire as a magistrate here.

Which court will I sit in as a magistrate?

All new magistrates are either appointed to sit in the adult court or family court. Once appointed, magistrates can apply to sit in the other jurisdiction. If appointed to sit in the adult criminal court, once they have gained experience they can decide to undertake more training to sit in youth court as well.

What should I do before applying to become a magistrate?

Before you apply to become a magistrate, you should visit your local court to check if the role is right for you. If you are invited to interview, you will be asked to talk about your visits.

Find your nearest court here.

(Please note that as family cases are heard in private, you won’t be able to visit a family court before your application).

Is my area recruiting for magistrates?

Click here to find out if there are any vacancies for magistrates in your area.

How do I apply to become a magistrate?

You can find the application form and guidance notes on the Gov.uk website. After completing the form you can email or post it to the advisory committee for your area.

If you are considered an eligible candidate, you will be invited to a first interview where members of the local advisory committee will assess whether you possess the required skills and personal qualities. You might also be asked about various criminal justice issues such as drink driving. If you are successful, you will be invited to a second interview to discuss some practical examples of the type of cases dealt with by magistrates. Following the interview stage, the committee will submit the names of those assessed as being suitable for appointment to the Lord Chancellor.

Further questions

If you have more questions about becoming a magistrate, please visit our FAQs for help with your query. If you need further assistance, please contact us.