Magistrates are members of the local community appointed by the Lord Chief Justice for England and Wales. Until 2013, they were appointed by the Lord Chancellor.
No formal qualifications are required but magistrates need intelligence, common sense, integrity and the capacity to act fairly. Membership should be widely spread throughout the area covered and drawn from all walks of life. Magistrates are typically recruited by a network of 47 local advisory committees, covering relevant geographical areas. They are made up serving magistrates and local non-magistrates.
All magistrates are carefully trained before sitting and continue to receive training throughout their service.
Magistrates are unpaid volunteers but they may receive allowances to cover travelling expenses and subsistence.
If you are considering becoming a magistrate we recommend you visit the GOV.UK website which has plenty of information and an application form. It is advisable to see if the area where you would like to sit has any vacancies. You can check here.
If selected you will have to sign a Declaration and Undertaking Form. To find your local court go to the Justice Court Finder.
Hard copies and copies in Braille can be obtained from:
The Magistrates HR Team
10th Floor, Thomas More
Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2A 2LL
You can also obtain an application pack through their website www.GOV.UK.