What we achieve

Influencing the agenda via key decision-makers

With the majority of magistrates as our members, we work together to form a collective voice

The MA works with its members to influence key decision-makers in Parliament and Government to promote the sound administration of the law and the role of magistrates. Here are some recent highlights

  • We launched our All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Magistracy, chaired by MA member Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede JP and Karl McCartney JP MP. This APPG meets bi-monthly in the Houses of Parliament and provides a platform to discuss issues relating to the magistracy
  • Our regular briefings to MPs and Peers have ensured the MA is regularly quoted in Parliamentary debates
  • The MA has achieved a government review of out-of-court disposals and a pilot of a much simplified system across several police force areas, as well as legislation controlling the use of out-of-court disposals for prolific offenders and for indictable offences
  • We developed and delivered strategic recommendations to the President of the Family Division resulting in magistrates being included in all aspects of decision-making in the single family court
  • Our efforts in parliamentary engagement secured a vital amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Act to ensure that grave crimes can be tried in the youth court
  • The MA has consistently made the case for the extension of jurisdiction in the Magistrates Court so that offences carrying a 12 month custodial sentences remain with magistrates
  • We have secured MA representation on new judicial business groups
  • The MA has pressed the case for improved security for magistrates, inside and outside the courtoom following members' concerns
  • We have given powerful evidence to numerous Select Committees in Parliament, generating widespread positive media coverage
  • Our role in the Criminal Proceedings Review, led by Sir Brian Leveson, will result in greater efficiency and effectiveness across all courts in England and Wales
  • We played a significant role in the Disclosure Review undertaken by the Chief Magistrate and HHJ Christopher Kinch QC
  • We carried out a consultation with our members which have been used to change the sentencing guidelines on metal theft