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9 August 2023
Diversity, disparity and inclusion

We make no apology for using inclusive language.

The text reads: media statement

Responding to the article in the Sun newspaper this morning, ‘Bonkers woke guidance given to magistrates includes banning words like policemen and chairman’, Tom Franklin, Chief Executive of the Magistrates’ Association said:

“Long gone are the days when magistrates were exclusively male, white and over 60. We are proud that the magistracy is now the most diverse part of the judiciary, with magistrates drawn from all sections of society and backgrounds. It means that when magistrates sit in court, they bring a wide range of life experiences to their work.

“At the Magistrates’ Association, we are proud of our work to support the diversity of the magistracy, encouraging all types of people to apply to become magistrates to serve their local communities. We make no apology for encouraging the use of inclusive language in our style guide—a resource that we, like many other organisations, have available to our staff and volunteers to ensure consistent use of the English language.

“Words matter, and we will do what we can to make the magistracy more welcoming for everyone. However, it would be for the Judicial Office and not us—as has been erroneously suggested in the Sun’s article—to issue formal guidance to magistrates on this topic.

“I would encourage anyone interested in becoming a magistrate, whatever your background, to find out more about the role by visiting our or the Ministry of Justice’s website.”