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MA 2019 AGM, Conference and Awards Dinner

Summary report

31 October 2019
MA 2019 AGM, Conference and Awards Dinner

Our AGM, conference and awards dinner took place on 19 October at the Crowne Plaza, Stratford-upon-Avon. In a departure from previous years, all the events were held on one action packed day.

The day was a great success, with over 200 people attending the conference, an increase of over 50% on 2018. 


Annual General Meeting

The day started with the MA’s AGM. The minutes of the previous year’s AGM and the annual report and financial statements for 2018-2019 were presented and agreed. Paul Kemp was appointed as Honorary Treasurer, replacing Shyam Sharma, who was thanked for his contribution to the MA. Sarah Clarke, Jacqui MacDonald-Davis and Luke Rigg were also welcomed to the Board. Price Bailey LLP were reappointed as the MA’s auditors. 

The following motion was then debated:

‘This AGM believes that to aid recruitment and retention there should be more differentiation between roles within the magistracy, with differing minimum sitting requirements for presiding justices and wingers and the creation of a new tier of presiding magistrates, who sit alone with a legal adviser and are paid a daily fee.’

Proposer: Emir Feisal JP – Central and North London MA

Seconder: Jacqui MacDonald-Davis JP – Central and North London MA

After debate, the motion fell.

National Chair’s address

The formal AGM was followed by a speech by the MA’s National Chair, John Bache. John discussed the four issues that he had presented to Judges’ Council earlier this year – magistrate recruitment, confidence in community sentences, sentencing powers and access to justice. He was optimistic on the first three, but said there is cause for concern on the fourth. He concluded by thanking the Senior Presiding Judge, who retires in December, for her support for the magistracy and all attendees for their contributions to the magistracy and to the MA.


The theme of this year's conference was THE CHANGING FACE OF JUSTICE, and attendees were treated to an interactive look at the future of the magistracy against the backdrop of the wider justice system, with the newly introduced panel sessions and reformatted breakouts. Speakers included Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive, HMCTS; Paul Twocock, Chief Executive, Stonewall; Karen Quinn, Chair of Triple A (All About Autism); Natasha Broomfield-Reid, Founder of Diverse Matters; Paul Dillane, a member of the UK Government LGBT Advisory Panel; Katrina Ffrench, Chief Executive of Stopwatch; Polly Harrar, Founder of The Sharan Project; Carolyn Housman, Chief Executive Officer of Children and Families across Borders; Lady Justice Macur, Senior Presiding Judge; and Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division.


Awards dinner

The awards dinner took place shortly after the conference and was a resounding success. In addition to magistrates from all over England and Wales, we were joined by special guests including Lady Justice Macur; Sir Andrew McFarlane and Lady Susanna McFarlane; Lady Emma Arbuthnot, Chief Magistrate; HHJ Andrew Lockhart QC, Honorary Recorder of Coventry, Resident Judge at Warwickshire Justice Centre and President of Coventry and Warwickshire MA; Philip Seccombe, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire; Timothy Cox, The Lord-Lieutenant of Warwickshire; and Simon  Miesegaes, High Sheriff of Warwickshire – the last three of whom presented awards.

The evening comprised an excellent meal, entertainment was provided by Shakespeare Morris, wearers of the Shakespeare family Coat of Arms and an after dinner speech from Poldark and Bourne Identity actor, Tim Dutton. 

The real focus of the evening was the presentation of awards to our fantastic members. This year’s winners and commendations are:

MIC Education award

WINNER: Buckinghamshire MA

WINNER: North and West Yorkshire MA

MIC Community award



MIC Innovation Award

WINNER: Tony Clark – North Cheshire MA

COMMENDATION: Janet Brimley – Lancashire County MA

MIC Presenter of the Year Award

WINNER: Caroline Shorten-Conn – Buckinghamshire MA

COMMENDATION: Chika Udezue – Dorset MA

Employer Award

WINNER: British Airways – nominated by Harry Callaghan, West Sussex MA

COMMENDATION: London Energy Ltd – nominated by Mark Beattie, Central and North London MA

Branch Officer of the Year Award

WINNER: Stephan Smith – South and South East London MA

COMMENDATION: Jenny West – Gloucestershire MA

Retired Member of the Year Award

WINNER: Brenda Lane – Merseyside MA

COMMENDATION: Alan Sandham – Lancashire County MA

Special Recognition Award

WINNER: Jean Bonnick – nominated by Sophie Archer, Norfolk MA

COMMENDATION: Keith Stokes-Smith – Worcestershire MA

Branch of the Year Award                                         


Inclusion and Social Value Award (NEW!)

WINNER: Carole Johnson – Bristol and North Avon MA

COMMENDATION: Alan Barker – nominated by Janet Brimley, Lancashire County MA


We are delighted to be able to announce that the 2020 AGM, conference and awards will take place on 17 October at Plaisterers Hall in London. A programme befitting our centenary year will soon follow.

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