Magistrates make up 85% of the judicial community and deal with over 90% of criminal cases, as well as a range of civil matters
Magistrates (also called Justices of the Peace) are unpaid volunteers and come from a wide range of backgrounds and occupations – from bus drivers to architects, pilots to mechanics, nursery nurses to retired people, unemployed to teachers. They are ordinary men and women with common sense and personal integrity. They are able to listen to all sides of an argument and can contribute to fair and reasonable decisions. You do not have to have any legal qualification.
Magistrates sit as one of a bench of three, including one who sits in the centre who has been trained to take the chair. They deal with a range of criminal cases such as minor theft, criminal damage, public disorder and motoring offences. Our members also sit in youth and family courts.
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