News and comments

The TRUNK July 2021

29 July 2021

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 

Lancashire MA: AGM and annual meeting

On the 24th June, Lancashire MA held its AGM and had a presentation from Lancashire Police Rural, Wildlife and Heritage Crime Unit. This type of crime in Lancashire is a serious business as Lancashire County members learned at their annual meeting. However, nothing beats local police working in local areas to tackle local problems. This is the message given by Chief Inspector Chris Hardy of the county’s rural task force. He revealed that Lancashire is the sixth worst English county in the value of items stolen. He also highlighted dog attacks on sheep and cattle as being a massive issue.

A long list of offences include armed poaching, illegal fishing, theft of farm machinery, livestock and fuel, equine crime, fly tipping and grazing, hare coursing, badger, bat and raptor persecution, illegal trade in endangered species and dog fighting.

Members also heard that the force priorities include arrests, disruption and targeting of offenders. Evidence gathering can include mobile phone footage and the use of drones.

For more information, please contact Fiona Duggan

New members receive The Secret Magistrate

We have recently received 500 copies of "The Secret Magistrate" to give to new members, kindly sent to us by TSM. These will be sent as a complimentary gift to all those joining the association. The book aims to explain to others the experience and what the role entails through the eyes of The Secret Magistrate. If you are aware of magistrates looking to join the MA, please do let them know about this new exciting incentive! 

For mroe information, please contact Membership


DCRMs and the MA’s Magistrates in the Community

You will recently have seen that MLE has introduced Diversity Community Relationship Managers (DCRM). Some members have asked whether this cuts across our Magistrates in the Community (MIC) work. We have written to the DSPJ clearly 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.  To protect the MAs MIC 'brand' and our extensive investment in this area, we will not share our materials, contacts or undertake joint presentations with them. More guidance to follow.


Recruiting: New Treasurer for the MA

Are you – or do you know an MA member who is – experienced at finance and financial strategy, and willing to support the MA’s Board of Trustees and staff team? We’re currently recruiting for a new Treasurer to join our Board of Trustees, as we work to implement the Business Change Programme to put the MA onto a more sustainable financial footing. The Treasurer will chair the Board’s Finance and Audit Committee, and will work with the Chief Executive to develop our five year financial plan. We’re seeking somebody who is a qualified member of the ICAEW, ACCA, CIMA, ICAS or equivalent, but who ideally also has a good understanding of the magistracy and the MA.

If you are interested, contact our CEO Tom Franklin for more information and a recruitment pack.

IAM RoadSmart: drink drive rehabilitation courses for offenders

IAM RoadSmart is the UK’s leading road safety charity and is one of the leading providers of Drink Drive Rehabilitation courses in England & Wales. There aim is to ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to complete this course. They have successfully adapted to COVID-19 by offering offenders flexibility in how they choose to complete the course either online or in a classroom. Since August 2020, they have helped circa 6,000 offenders complete this course with them.

As a charity, there mission is to educate and raise awareness in all matters relating to road safety. following a request from a member who is also a Magistrate they delivered there first Drink Drive course familiarisation presentation in October 2020. As a result of recommendations from Magistrates attending and spreading the word, they have since delivered three more presentations to over 200 Magistrates.

Following on from the success and positive feedback received on the sessions delivered, they are keen to offer presentations to more Magistrates to raise awareness of the benefits of drink drive rehabilitation courses for offenders and the expected outcomes for offenders in preparation for returning to the road as safer drivers.

These interactive sessions are approximately an hour long normally in the evening via Zoom.

Some of the comments they have received from Magistrates who have recently attended the presentation.

“I learned a lot as I had no idea what took place on these courses” 

“Highly recommend this training for all Magistrates”

“Absolutely fascinating presentation

If you are responsible for organising training and are interested in learning more including the course content, outcomes from the course or statistics on reoffending, please contact Sarah Fisk.

If you would like to book a presentation date in or would like further information please get in touch by emailing, Sarah Fisk, Driver Education & Development Manager at IAM RoadSmart.

Oxfordshire MA: social event for summer

A social event has been organised for this summer, for members of the Oxfordshire MA and partners. This event is to be led by Stephen Barker, an experienced Heritage Advisor, working with many museums and universities.

On 3 August at 4pm, Stephen will lead a walk around Oxford, stopping at points of interest to explain how important the holding of Oxford was to both sides, and the history of the three sieges of Oxford during the Civil War. This will be followed by meal in a restaurant in Oxford. 

All costs of the tour will be met by Oxfordshire MA apart from the meal in Oxford. The tour has a maximum of twenty people.

Please email Tania Johnson to book a place or for more information

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.


Coming up in the August-September 2021 issue of MAGISTRATE

The August-September issue of MAGISTRATE will be landing on doorsteps from 9 August.

Following his examination of the criminal standard of proof in April, our legal editor Stephen Leake now casts his eye on the civil standard of proof in the intriguingly titled A lioness or an Alsatian in Regent’s Park? Think you know the difference? Why not have a read and find out (page 6). And note the specially commissioned cover by The Surreal McCoy. We think it adds a note of distinction and hope that you agree.

An area that can also cause confusion are the rules concerning the anonymity of magistrates. If you’ve ever wondered about this matter then you will appreciate the article by Sian Jones, Head of Legal and Professional Services at HM Courts and Tribunals Service (page 4). Another very topical issue that can ignite passion is that of e-scooters, namely where and in what circumstances they may be used. Retired magistrate Chris Nowakowski bemoans the state of the law surrounding them (page 9).

The magistracy can take real pride in being the most diverse part of the judiciary, but we all know there is further to go and hurdles to overcome. On page 12 you can read about the inaugural meeting of the MA’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Special Interest Group, attended by more than 50 members, and on page 22 there’s a related article by Dr Carole Johnson, who won an MA Inclusion and Social Value Award in 2019. On the subject of awards – it’s nomination time for the 2021 MA Awards. On page 16 you can read about the categories. Do you know someone who deserves to win? If so, now’s the time to get nominating!

The winners of the awards will be announced at the MA Conference on 16 October. The subject of the MA Conference this year is Valuing our magistracy? Remember to make sure you register your place (page 24).

The magazine is packed with many more updates, information and articles – what better way to spend a summer’s day than with your feet up for a few hours, having some peace and quiet, and reading such stimulating material?

We hope that you are all keeping safe and well in these challenging times and especially that you are enjoying having more time to read your copy of MAGISTRATE!


1st Prize – Helen Edwards (Mid & South Glamorgan)
2nd Prize – Lynda Dowling (Coventry & Warwickshire)
3rd Prize –  Andrew Phillips (North East & East London)

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