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Young magistrates' network

Connecting magistrates under 40 to create an inclusive magistracy.

What is the young magistrates’ network?

The MA’s young magistrates’ network is for MA members under the age of 40—this age group currently makes up just five per cent of magistrates.

The MA’s young magistrates’ network has four main aims:

  • Provide opportunities for young magistrates to network with the peers across the country.
  • Generate discourse around the issues affecting young magistrates (who are members of the MA) and advise, inform and work with the MA head office to address these issues.
  • Advise, inform and work with the MA head office on the creation of routes to the recruitment of young magistrates.

Join the network

To find out more or to join the MA’s young magistrates’ network, please email

Who we are

The network’s acting chair is Katherine Sirrell JP.

Our achievements

Since its launch in 2019, the young magistrates’ network:

  • Helped to raise awareness of the role of magistrates’ and the profile of the MA by speaking at the final of the 2019 Young Citizens’ Mock Trials Competition.
  • Facilitated two focus groups with members in 2019 to feed into the government’s recruitment and attraction reforms.
  • Participated in the Ministry of Justice’s magistrates’ expenses and allowances review working group from October 2019 to January 2020, to offer insight on issues specific to younger magistrates, such as childcare, financial loss allowance and zero-hour contracts.
  • Held an inaugural conference for young magistrates in February 2020 that saw around a hundred members come together to connect with other young magistrates, share ideas about to improve their experiences of sitting on the bench, and to hear from keynote speakers including Susan Acland-Hood and Gina Martin.
  • Spoke to around 140 Home Office and Judicial Office civil servants between February and September 2020 about being a magistrate to encourage applications.
  • Shared their experiences of volunteering as magistrates in a blog for Volunteers’ Week.
  • Published a discussion paper on support for employed magistrates in December 2021 that secured media coverage and influenced work to attract and retain magistrates in employment.
  • Met regularly with senior officials from HM Courts and Tribunals Service, the Judicial Office, the Magistrates’ Leadership Executive and Ministry of Justice on behalf of our members.
  • Represented the MA in the media to highlight the invaluable role that magistrates play in our justice system, to encourage others to apply, and to emphasise the importance of benches reflecting the communities they serve.