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Blogs

Our blogs share the perspectives and views of our members, volunteers and staff on issues relating to the magistracy and wider justice system. We also publish guest pieces from organisations with fresh perspectives on relevant topics. Use the search box or filters to find what you're looking for.

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Text reads: member blog, Dane Pedro. It is accompanied by Dane's photo.
  • Diversity, disparity and inclusion
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate

A decade on the bench

This Volunteers’ Week, we invited one of our members, Dane Pedro, who has been serving as a magistrate for nearly a decade, to reflect on her time as a female magistrate.
The text reads member blog, Christopher Walker. It is accompanied by Christopher's photo.
  • Family court matters
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate

Be the difference: volunteer as a magistrate

For Volunteers’ Week, one of our members, Christopher Walker, shares his journey to the bench and encourages others to apply to become magistrates.
The text reads: Mental Health Awareness Week, 13-19 May 2024
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate

Tips for magistrates to support their mental wellbeing

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May 2024), one of our deputy national chairs, Jacqui MacDonald-Davis, shares her thoughts about how magistrates can look after their mental wellbeing.
The text reads: member blog, Sarah Sawyerr. It is accompanied by Sarah's photo.
  • Diversity, disparity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion: What we’ve been doing, and how to get involved

Sarah Sawyerr, diversity and inclusion committee representative for our Black, Asian and minority ethnic network, shares a round-up of the committee’s and networks’ recent work.
An older man is giving a presentation
  • Wider justice system

A call to retired members: join our Magistrates in the Community Initiative

In this blog, we talk about how our retired members can play an active role in promoting the magistracy and engaging their local communities.
The text reads: position statement, Single Justice Procedure
  • Adult court matters
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate
  • Wider justice system

Single Justice Procedure needs reform, say magistrates

  • Diversity, disparity and inclusion

Neurodiversity Celebration Week: Understanding ADHD

For Neurodiversity Celebration Week (18–24 March 2024), we're sharing an article by MA member Hanne Van Hirtum JP, who tells us about her experience of having ADHD and offers advice on supporting neurodivergent defendants and magistrates
A lantern
  • Diversity, disparity and inclusion
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate

Four top tips to support a fasting colleague during Ramadan

Read our guidance on Ramadan and how you can best support a Muslim colleague who is fasting.
The text reads: guest blog, Edwina Grosvenor
  • Adult court matters

Redesigning justice for women and their children: the answers lie in the community

Edwina Grosvenor, Founder of One Small Thing, discusses Hope Street in Hampshire, a community alternative to prison for women and their children.
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate
  • Victims

All about the victim surcharge

The victim surcharge applies to all sentences—here's our refresher on what it is, as well as the MA's position on the topic.
Mark Beattie JP, National Chair
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate
  • Wider justice system

Things to look out for in 2024

Our National Chair, Mark Beattie, reflects on some of the changes and challenges magistrates may face in 2024.
  • Adult court matters

Intensive Supervision and problem-solving courts

Val Castell JP, the chair of our adult court committee, on the adult court breakout session at the Magistrates’ Association’s 2023 conference.
  • Family court matters

Does language matter?

Tracy Sortwell JP, the chair of our family court committee, discusses the family court breakout session at the Magistrates’ Association’s 2023 conference.
MA members at the AGM
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate
  • Wider justice system

Five takeaways from conference

Tom Franklin, our Chief Executive, shares five highlights from the Magistrates’ Association’s 2023 conference.
A young person
  • Youth court matters

Considering the way forward for the youth court

Janet Lallysmith, our Training, Learning and Development Officer, reflects on the youth court breakout session at our 2023 conference.
The text reads: guest blog, Luke Chambers. It is accompanied by Luke's photo.
  • Wider justice system

Artificial intelligence as criminal evidence: Opportunities, challenges, and mitigations

Luke Chambers, a computer scientist and PhD (Law) Candidate at Northumbria University, examines how a new era of evidence will challenge courts, the judiciary, and the public they serve.
The text reads: member blog, Josh James. It is accompanied by Josh's photo.
  • Diversity, disparity and inclusion

Championing diversity as a trustee

To mark Trustees’ Week, Josh James JP looks back on a year in post and explores how diversity strengthens our decision making.
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate

An interview with Marianne Sunter

This month we sat down with Marianne Sunter, a new(ish) adult court magistrate, to find out more about her experience on the bench and what tips she has for newly appointed recruits.
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate

Ten tips for getting the most out of our new website

Don’t miss out on all the new member-only features our website has to offer. Read our pointers and start exploring today!
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate

My 25-year voluntary career

To mark Black History Month, Abiola Onatade shares why she’s been giving back to her community by volunteering as a magistrate for over two decades.
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