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9 March 2023
Diversity, disparity and inclusion Wider justice system

A round-up of our recent media coverage.

To deliver on the organisation’s influencing objectives, Magistrates’ Association spokespeople regularly talk to the media. Since our last round-up, we have secured widespread coverage on topics including, among others, out of court disposals (OOCDs), the process of issuing utility warrants to install prepayment meters, and the drive to recruit more magistrates.

In December, we published our latest advocacy report, which cautioned that OOCDs threaten to undermine open justice and are in urgent need of reform. We are pleased that it was featured on the front page of the Daily Telegraph, and in The Law Society Gazette, the Police OraclePolice Professional and MSN News.

Media engagement is a key tool that we use to promote the magistracy and to correct misunderstandings about what magistrates do. As the system for utility warrants has come under intense scrutiny recently, Mark Beattie (our National Chair) talked to BBC Radio 4’s You and You programme (from 14:30) about magistrates’ role in this process and how it has changed over time. Around 80 media outlets, including the Evening Standardthe Financial Times and the Independent, also covered our statement that welcomed the Senior Presiding Judge’s recent suspension of this process.

As we believe that more magistrates are needed to help deliver speedier justice for all, we were delighted to help promote the Ministry of Justice’s continued drive to recruit 4,000 much-needed volunteers, especially from underrepresented groups and areas. From Asian Lite to Southwark News, several local and community media outlets shared our thoughts on this ongoing campaign.

Reinforcing our position as the primary opinion leader on issues facing the magistracy, Mark Beattie was quoted in a piece on the Labour Party’s announcement on community courts that was published by The Times, both in print and online.

We are also pleased that our Magistrates in the Community initiative was featured in the Leamington Observerthe Stratford Observer and the Warwickshire World.