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MA response to magistrates’ retirement age consultation

MA response


29 September 2020
MA response to magistrates’ retirement age consultation

The MA has finalised its response to the government consultation on raising the mandatory retirement age for judicial office holders, including magistrates. Our response calls for the mandatory retirement age for magistrates to be raised to 75.

The consultation identifies a number of factors that are relevant in identifying the most appropriate mandatory retirement age for judicial office holders. These include ensuring effective resourcing of the courts, the need to promote diversity, and ensuring that judicial independence and public confidence in the judiciary are protected.

The consultation paper sets out three options for discussion. The first is raising the mandatory retirement age to 72. The second is raising it to 75. The third is to allow magistrates’ appointments to be extended beyond the mandatory retirement age when there is a need to do so. This third option could be in addition to, or instead of, proposals to raise the mandatory retirement age.

We disseminated a survey to all members through July and August to gather to inform our response. It was sent via a direct email to all members who have not opted out from receiving such emails, and a link to the survey was also disseminated via ENEWS and on the website, in the members’ only section. In total, 2,654 respondents completed the survey - thank you very much to all those who contributed.

The data was collated, including breaking responses down respect of which jurisdiction (criminal, youth, family) respondents sat in, and whether they were approved to sit as presiding justices. The full breakdown of data is available here, and will be sent to the Ministry of Justice in addition to the MA consultation response.

The consultation is open until 16 October 2020, so there is still time for individuals to respond. You can read the consultation paper here.

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