Magistrates in the Community

Promoting the magistracy and engaging the community in the role of the magistracy and the criminal and civil justice systems

"Engaging young people in the hugely important work of the magistracy and helping them understand the pivotal role of the local community as volunteers is fundamental in our civic society. Magistrates play a major role in their communities. The Magistrates in the Community project is really brilliant, fun, engaging and, most importantly, informative.”

                              Ian Dunn, former Chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Magistrate Bench

Magistrates in the Community (MIC) is the MA’s community engagement initiative. Every year teams of magistrates across England and Wales deliver a huge variety of presentations to incredibly diverse groups. We visit schools, colleges, offices, community groups, religious and social groups. Subjects discussed might include:

  • how magistrates are appointed
  • what kind of cases magistrates’ courts deal with
  • how guilt or innocence is decided
  • how a sentence is reached
  • topical issues such as cybercrime and bullying


As far as possible presentations are tailored to suit requests, whether it is an informal talk or a more participative sentencing exercise such as acting out a mock trial.

Presentations are fun, exciting, thought-provoking, challenging and satisfying as we endeavor to demystify the legal system and educate and interest the wider community in the work of their local court. In 2019, we delivered presentations to over 80,000 people.

‘It was really interesting to find out about what magistrates do.’

‘I didn't realise that the consequences of cyber bullying could be so severe.’

’It makes me want to be a magistrate when I'm older.’

Pupils at King's Oak Primary School in Bedfordshire

As part of Volunteers' Week 2021, we spoke to two MIC co-ordinators, Debbie and John, about volunteering as a magistrate and their involvement in Magistrates in the Community, as well as how important it is for the public to understand what magistrates do. Read the interview here.

Whether you are a magistrate who would like to be involved or a group who would like further information about organising a MIC visit, please email