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MA Chair John Bache on 'Law in Action'

MA in the media

14 November 2019
MA Chair John Bache on 'Law in Action'

Our National Chair John Bache contributed to an item on the magistracy in a recent edition of BBC Radio 4’s Law in Action.

John explained that the shortage of magistrates means that benches of two are more common, which not only puts pressure on magistrates to sit more often, but in some instances can result in cases being adjourned or requiring a retrial. ‘We want a diverse magistracy’, John said, adding that the fact that the majority of magistrates are over 60 remains an issue. One way to tackle the decrease in numbers, he added, would be to increase the current retirement age for magistrates, but in order to attract younger magistrates, it is essential that employers see the value in enabling their employees to take the time to serve their communities in this important way.

Maidstone Bench Chair Gill Fryzer was also interviewed, talking about why she first became interested in the magistracy, ‘the jewel in the crown of the justice system’, and how decision-making works on the bench, as well as issues regarding recruitment and diversity.

You can listen to the programme here, with the item on the magistracy taking place from 17 minutes 27 seconds.

John also contributed to a recent series of articles in The Guardian on youth courts. The full series is available here.

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