What is Magistrates in the Community?
Magistrates in the Community is the MA’s community engagement initiative. Every year, teams of volunteer magistrates across England and Wales deliver a huge variety of presentations to incredibly diverse audiences.
We visit schools, colleges, offices, community groups, and religious and social groups, aiming to demystify the legal system and educate the wider community about the work of their local court.
Presentations are tailored to each group and can range from informal talks to interactive mock trials. Previous presentations have covered topics like:
- 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, bullying and knife crime.
Why is Magistrates in the Community so important?
Magistrates in the Community offers a window into the magistracy and the wider judiciary. It’s a chance for our members to increase understanding of the criminal justice system and inspire the next generation of magistrates.
Read more about the impact of Magistrates in the Community in our interview with two presenters, Debbie and John.
Volunteer with Magistrates in the Community
Volunteering with Magistrates in the Community is a great way to raise awareness of the important work magistrates do. There are a range of roles and opportunities, and each visit offers something different—you may work with 12–14-year-olds on a mock trial competition, go to a school to talk to students, or get out into the wider community to talk to adults about your role as a magistrate.
Being part of your local Magistrates in the Community team is a rewarding and inspiring experience, and a chance to meet others who are as passionate about the magistracy as you are.
If you’re an MA member who’s interested in getting involved with our community projects, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Arrange a presentation in your community
If you’re a community group that would like further information about organising a Magistrates in the Community visit, please email email@example.com.