News and Comments

The TRUNK August 2020

28 August 2020

2020 Vision website exhibition launches on 1 September

Go to  to experience our groundbreaking online exhibition in celebration of the MA’s centenary.

Follow us on Instagram at

The MA centenary art exhibition explores the concept of justice. It comprises 20 original artworks, commissioned from 20 diverse, contemporary artists and is both a retrospective view of 100 years of the history of justice in the UK and a gaze into the future.

The 10 exhibition themes are topical issues around which both legislation and societal attitudes have evolved considerably in the last century, and might conceivably evolve even further. These are:​

  • Rights of the child  
  • Gender and the justice system
  • The role of prison in society
  • Ownership of information
  • Race and criminal justice
  • LGBTQIA+ rights 
  • Freedom of expression  
  • Freedom of association
  • Victims’ rights
  • The concept of justice


Each theme has been allocated to two artists, one with a brief that explores its history and the other tasked with looking at its future and evolution. Our 20 artists are from a range of backgrounds and locations throughout England and Wales, and were selected from a whopping 110 entries to our exhibition.

Taking into account the current government guidance and our concerns for the optimum safety of our members, the MA has cancelled all physical exhibitions. The action is instead being brought to you exclusively online at

Image: Sara Harrington for the "Future: Gender and the Justice System"

Last chance to nominate someone for the MA 2020 Awards!

The nomination deadline is 31 August

While the current situation has unfortunately made it necessary to cancel all upcoming national MA events, we will still be recognising and rewarding the excellence of our branches and individual members.

The nomination and judging process will remain unchanged. While we are unable to hold an awards ceremony this year, the names of the winners will be published in the October-November issue of MAGISTRATE and shared via our newsletters and website.

Do you know anyone who deserves a Magistrates Association Award? Now is your chance to nominate them and help us give them the recognition that they deserve. We are also happy for people and branches to nominate themselves, so do please feel free to toot your own horn! The categories are:

  • MIC Innovation Award
  • MIC Presenter of the Year Award
  • Employer Award
  • Branch Officer of the Year Award
  • Special Recognition Award
  • Branch of the Year Award
  • Inclusion and Social Value Award


Our branches and individual members work tirelessly, taking on additional roles when you already volunteer so much of your time as magistrates and we are delighted to continue with this annual opportunity to show our appreciation of the amazing work that members do. Nominations will close at midnight on 31 August. Click here for more details

Have you completed the MA Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form?

In order to ensure that we are providing you with the highest quality of support, the MA needs to know our membership better. To enhance our understanding of members’ needs, we’d like to find out the jurisdiction(s) in which you sit, your employment status, caring responsibilities and whether you are a member of any traditionally underrepresented groups. 
If you have not already done so, we request that you go to and complete the voluntary monitoring form that we have created for this purpose. The information provided will be entirely confidential and used for MA purposes, only. 

Please note, we would like you to complete the form whether you are a sitting or retired member.


Bedfordshire MA: seeking MIC presenters

Despite the delayed appointment of new Bedfordshire magistrates this year, the branch is still keen to recruit and train MiC trainers who can assist in its community work.

If you are a member of Bedfordshire MA and are interested in joining Magistrates in the Community then please click here to contact Branch Chair, John Pickersgill, who will be pleased to give you more information about this interesting, essential and important role.

Retired magistrate pens crime thriller

Chris Jones is a former Bedfordshire magistrate who stepped down from the Bench in 2017 to move to the south coast. Her ambition was to spend time writing, and we’re delighted to report that her first book has now been published!

It is called ‘Make You Sorry,’ a crime thriller, and is published under the name Christine Rae-Jones. Fiona McDougal and John Pickersgill of the Bedfordshire MA executive have been in touch with their congratulations on behalf of the branch and the MA.

If you are interested in Chris’s work, please visit her website

Coventry and Warwickshire MA: training session and AGM

Coventry and Warwickshire MA is now planning to go virtual and will be holding a training session and AGM via MS Teams on 29 September, 6.30-8.30pm.  Speakers will be:

  • His Honour Judge Lockhart QC, Coventry and Warwickshire MA President, Honorary Recorder of Coventry and Resident Judge at Warwickshire Justice Centre on the ‘Impact of COVID-19 now, and on the future of the courts’.
  • Chris Woodrow, Senior Legal Manager / Deputy Justices Clerk - West Midlands and Warwickshire, HMCTS providing and HMCTS update on key legal issues and operations.

Both speakers will welcome questions.

The event is free with a training certificate available for attendees’ appraisal portfolios. 

An email with the MS Teams link will be sent to all serving magistrates via Ejudiciary. Retired magistrates, please click here to email John Taylor and request the link.

Papers for the AGM will be circulated by 8 September.  There are still several vacant posts on the Branch Executive so if any member is willing to stand, please click here to contact the Chair, Davinda Janda or email John (as above).

Young Magistrates Special Interest Group regional leads appointed

Following a successful recruitment process, we are pleased to inform you that the following MA members have become YMSIG regional leads:


YMSIG Regional Lead

North West England

Usman Rasul JP

North East England

Ashley Mason JP


Aarron Ewart JP

South East England

Hannah Stanbridge JP


Megan Stone JP



South West England*


The YMSIG did not receive applications for the regional lead positions in London and South West England. If you would be interested in applying for these posts and are a magistrate in either of those areas, please contact us.

The YMSIG regional leads will undertake the following duties:

  • Build and coordinate regional YMSIG events, ensuring there are strong networks for YMSIG members; 
  • Act as regional points of contact for YMSIG members in their region; and 
  • Work with relevant MA branches to support outreach and recruit more MA members. 


YMSIG regional leads will seek to work with MA branches where natural opportunities to collaborate arise at a branch level. They will focus their work on building stronger networks among YMSIG members, as it is recognised that there are relatively few young magistrates and therefore there are relatively few opportunities to meet other young magistrates.

YMSIG regional leads will not be expected to lead on policy issues affecting YMSIG members, as this will be held by the YMSIG national executive. For example, the YMSIG national executive is working closely with the Magistrates Recruitment and Attraction Working Groups to develop an employer engagement strategy. 

If you have any further questions about the YMSIG or the regional leads, or would like to be put in contact with you regional lead, please click here to get in touch with the YMSIG's national chair, Luke Rigg.

Berkshire MA: members’ meeting

Berkshire MA members are invited to join together virtually for its AGM and members meeting on 30 September at 7.30om. The meeting will take place via Zoom and they will be joined by Detective Chief Inspector Jason Kew as guest speaker.

DCI Kew is the Violence Reduction Unit, Drugs, Exploitation & Harm Reduction Lead for both Thames Valley Police & SEROCU. He is putting together a draft presentation and he will aim to cover the broad spectrum of evolving drug policy including the work of Thames Valley’s Violence reduction unit, including how TVP has developed a leading role in certain areas of policy which is informing Ministers and law makers. See also

Bring drinks and nibbles to your own choice!

NHS Veterans' Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison (TIL) Service

NHS Veterans' Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison (TIL) Service is continuing to deliver Veterans’ Mental Health Awareness training as part of a project funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. However, they are now delivering this in a webinar format via Microsoft Teams.

They would like to invite all magistrates who have not previously attended their training to a free Veterans’ Mental Health Awareness Training webinar for magistrates on Wednesday 2nd September from 10:00 – 12:30 via Microsoft Teams. 

The training aims to raise awareness of veterans’ mental health issues and support veteran-sensitive practice in Criminal Justice System organisations/services across London. The training will include topics such as: military culture, common mental health presentations of veterans, veteran offending behaviours, the role of trauma in offending behaviours, and some skills you can use to support veterans in your work. It will also raise awareness of the services available to veterans including the Veterans’ Mental Health TIL Service and there will be a Q&A at the end of the training.

If you would like to attend this free webinar, please click here to contact Dominika Iluczyk

Cheshire MA: Autumn conference and AGM

Cheshire MA will be holding its annual conference and AGM via Zoom on the morning of the 7 November 2020. 

The branch has a number of interesting speakers lined up, including a keynote speech from Mr Justice Spencer, presentations by the NW Ambulance Service on the subject of Assault Emergency Workers, and a talk from HH Judge Parker on a family oriented topic.

Cheshire MA members are asked to watch out for the invitation and instructions as to how to join this conference in their email during the next few weeks.

For more information, please contact Alan Eyres

Greater Manchester MA: AGM

Greater Manchester MA will be holding its AGM by Zoom conferencing on 7 October at 6pm. More details to follow.

The guest speaker is Alison Mutch, Senior Coroner South Manchester

If you have any queries, please click here to contact Peter Faulkner.

Black Country MA: AGM

 Due to the current situation, this year’s AGM will be held virtually on 7 September at 6.30pm.

Further details will be emailed to Branch members. 

For more information, please contact Gemma Staite

JP STORIES: tell us your tales

The retiring room is always full of stories – funny, enlightening, bizarre, shocking, heart-rending, and insightful. We listen and laugh, discover – and sometimes despair.

Listening to them I’ve often thought they deserved a wider audience both within the magistracy and potentially beyond (thoroughly anonymised of course!).

So please do share your stories – of yesterday or yesteryear, BC (before Covid) or mid-pandemic.

They can be as short as you like, but please no more than 500 words unless they really really need it. If you have several stories to send, that’s fine. The more the merrier.

The plan is to feature the best in an occasional slot in MAGISTRATE magazine, and if I receive enough good ones, then potentially in a book anthology as well.

Please include your name and bench (these will not be published – the stories need to be completely anonymous for obvious reasons). By sending your stories you are agreeing to their use, sensibly edited if necessary, for the above purposes.

Please send stories to  I very much look forward to reading them.

Juliet Rix Middlesex MA

Visits 2020

John Bache, Chair

Physical Visits


20 July 2020      Nottinghamshire MA

Virtual Visits

25 June 2020      Shropshire MA

11 September 2020        Cleveland & Durham MA
7 October 2020      Greater Manchester MA

500 Club - August WINNERS

1st Prize – Colin Hillary (Cleveland & Durham)

2nd Prize – Janine Barber (Central & North London)

3rd Prize – Judith Sweatman (Kent)


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