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The Trunk August 2021

02 September 2021

Membership recruitment: new members receive The Secret Magistrate 

A reminder that for a limited time, all new members will receive a complimentary gift of the book The Secret Magistrate when they join the MA.  We encourage all branches to use this as a recruitment incentive for those magistrates who haven’t yet joined. Later this year, we’ll be introducing a ‘Member-Get-Member’ scheme to encourage members to sign up their colleagues – more details to follow.

For more information, please contact Membership


Upcoming changes to the magistrates’ retirement age

As branches will know, legislation to change the statutory retirement age for magistrates is currently going through Parliament. The MA is in discussion with the Ministry of Justice about the process by which already-retired magistrates may be contacted about the possibility of returning to the bench where there is a need. If you know of non-MA member magistrates reaching the current retirement age soon, you may want to encourage them to join the MA so that we can keep in touch with them after they’ve retired.

DCRMs and the MA’s Magistrates in the Community

A reminder that, to protect the MA’s Magistrates in the Community (MIC) work, the MA has decided at this stage not to share our materials, contacts or undertake joint presentations with Diversity Community Relationship Magistrates (DCRMs). Some members have asked whether the remit of DCRMs, recruited through the MLE, cuts across our Magistrates in the Community programme. We have written to the DSPJ setting out that we will coordinate with DCRMs to avoid duplication of effort and welcome more action by the judiciary in this important area of activity. However, we also want to protect the extensive work that the MA’s volunteers have put into building up Magistrates in the Community into the extraordinary success it is. 

Get your nominations in now for the MA’s 2021 Awards

There’s only two weeks to go to submit your nominations for the MA’s Awards. Our branches and volunteers do amazing work in supporting fellow magistrates – and never more so than during the difficult ‘Covid’ year that we’ve just had. An effective way to thank them is through our annual Awards. Nominations are now open. Do you know a branch or an individual who deserves recognition? It might be your own branch, or maybe yourself or one of your colleagues. The deadline for submission is midnight 23rd September.

Please use the nomination form here and email it to us at

Categories are as follows:
•    MIC Innovation Award
The branch which has created and incorporated something new and innovative to their MIC programme.
•    MIC Presenter of the Year Award
The MIC Presenter who has gone the extra mile at a local level to present and educate on the justice system
•    Employer Award
Based on members nominating their employers for supporting them in their role as a magistrate.
•    Branch Officer of the Year Award
A branch committee member who is dependable, reliable, progressive and driven towards making their branch and the MA the best they can be.
    Retired Member of the Year Award
The retired member who has made the most substantial contribution to their branch, and the MA, as a whole.
•    Special Recognition Award
The individual member who the panel believes has made a lasting contribution at either branch or national level, and who is truly exceptional in going above and beyond what would ordinarily be expected.
•    Branch of the Year Award
The branch that the panel believes has gone above and beyond, in communication, training, fundraising and representing its branch/branch members, and is a credit to the MA nationally.
•    Inclusion and Social Value Award
The member who has done the most to promote the MA and the magistracy to diverse or underrepresented communities, furthering outreach and public knowledge of the magistracy and criminal justice.

Cleveland & Durham MA: remembering Ged

Cleveland & Durham MA are proud to be funding an annual trophy dedicated to the memory of Ged Hall JP. Ged was sworn in as a magistrate in 1997 and appointed Deputy Bench Chair in 2013. He was involved with the Magistrates in the Community (MIC) programme for many years before taking on the role of MIC Co-ordinator for Cleveland & Durham from 2019 to August 2020, when he sadly passed away following a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Ged was passionate about MIC and played a key role in the development and delivery of the programme across Cleveland and Durham.  As well as his sittings in the adult and youth courts he worked tirelessly, giving up many weekends and evenings to deliver MIC presentations and workshops to schools, community groups and local businesses and his dry sense of humour and witty repartee were always appreciated by his audiences!

Ged was a strong advocate of encouraging schools to take part in MIC activity, going into primary and secondary schools to engage young people in learning about the magistracy, encouraging them to think about the behaviours that can result in having a criminal record and what the impact of having a criminal record can be. He played a significant role in Cleveland & Durham over many years, supporting local young people to effectively take part in the national Mock Trials competition; arranging court visits, encouraging fellow magistrates to take on judging and support roles, liaising with schools to make sure all of the arrangements were in place and providing constructive feedback to the young people taking part and much more.  Believing that participation in the mock trials helps with developing confidence, fostering a team spirit and developing a sense of commitment as well as promoting an understanding of the criminal justice system, The Ged Hall Mock Trials Trophy is a fitting memorial to somebody so committed and dedicated not only to his role as a JP but to the MIC programme.

Ian Goodman (Cleveland & Durham Bench Chair to April 2021 and MIC colleague) said, “I had the pleasure of being appointed with Ged and then to work closely with him as a Bench Deputy and then as one of my Deputies. He was a truly dedicated magistrate and for many years worked alongside me on the MIC project. He took on the role as regional coordinator as he believed in educating the youth of today. His work ethic was to be admired and he is a sad loss as a colleague and best friend. This award will keep his engagement with the youngsters alive and I know he would appreciate it.”

Lesley Sledmore JP, MIC Co-ordinator for Cleveland & Durham said, “I was fortunate to work alongside Ged as a JP for several years and benefitted from his sage advice and wise words on numerous occasions.  He is definitely a very hard act to follow as MIC Co-ordinator and I hope I can build on the legacy he has left.  We look forward to awarding the trophy for the first time in 2022.”

For more information, please contact Lesley Sledmore 

Surrey MA: webinar

Surrey MA would like to invite you to join us for an interactive webinar entitled “Let’s Talk About Unconscious Bias” on 22nd September at 6.30pm, led by Michael Hassell JP and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Adviser at the University of Surrey. This is an opportunity to look at the subject from a different perspective, to discuss current thinking and a platform for people to share experiences.

Click here to join the webinar

For more information, please contact Eira Meller

Berkshire MA: members' meeting

Berkshire MA will host its next members’ meeting on Wednesday September 22nd via Zoom. There will be a talk by Ellen Marks, Director of Practice and Learning from Pause, an organisation which works to prevent the damaging consequences of children being taken into care.

“Pause works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeated pregnancies that result in children needing to be removed from their care. We aim to give women the opportunity to pause and take control of their lives breaking a destructive cycle that causes both them and their children deep trauma.”

Berkshire MA will also hold its AGM before the start of the meeting.

For more information, please contact Paul Wassell

Shropshire MA: information sharing events

Shropshire MA has organised a series of four information sharing events, including topics such as, the role of the ISVA and working with victims of sexual abuse and children in the care system in the UK. These will all be held via Teams and start at 7pm.


Event Title

Event Date/Time




14/09/21@ 700PM

Becky Jones

The role of the ISVA and working with victims of sexual abuse.



Jessica Carter


PURPLE LEAF and West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support.




Bert O’Donoghue & Jonathan Whalley

Children in the care system in the UK


08/12/21 @7:00

Sarah Tredaway

Sarah is the Area Manager (Staffs, Warks and West Mercia)

For more information or to join one of the events, please contact Nicola Hughes 

Brian Ashton JP: retirement celebrations

On the Wednesday 14th July, it was Brian Ashton’s last sitting as presiding chair having served the now Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire Bench for 29 years. Sheena Jowett JP, chair of the Ceredigion & Pembrokesire bench was in attendance together with Haydn Davey JP, presiding chair. Both addressed the court and Brian responded, in his usual humorous way, which was received with applause from the well of the court. On Saturday 17th July a good number of retired and active magistrates and partners enjoyed  supper at Brian’s local where he was presented with a decorative cake. It proved to be a good evening for a well respected JP!




Coventry & Warwickshire MA: centenary celebration

Coventry & Warwickshire MA Branch is proud to announce a very special event to celebrate 100 years of the Magistrate Association and 100 years of women magistrates.

The event is scheduled to take place in the magnificent medieval Guildhall of Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick, on Saturday 18 September 2021. The keynote speaker wil be the Senior Presiding Judge of England and Wales, the Rt. Hon. Lady Justice Thirlwall DBE. Other speakers lined up include a High Court Family Judge and the MA National Chair.  A celebratory lunch will be prepared by Nic Doughty of NICuisine.

Subject to Covid guidance at the time, tickets will go on sale in July and we anticipate demand will exceed supply - priority will be given to local MA branch members.

For more information, please contact Alexander Cosic

Cheshire MA: AGM and members’ meeting

Cheshire MA members are invited to come together virtually for its upcoming AGM and members’ meeting. The meeting will take place over Zoom on 6 November.

All Cheshire and Merseyside magistrates are invited to attend. There will be an interesting mix of speakers including presentations on County Lines Drug Dealing and Domestic Violence. 

For more information, please contact Alan Eyres.

CMJA virtual conference

MA Members are invited to the CMJA Virtual Conference 12-15 September 2021 - "Post-Pandemic Innovations" 

Registration is now open and for more information on the conference and registration form, please click here.


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