In response to the Daily Telegraph article (21 August 2018), and the interest that has been shown in the current rules around people with a criminal record sometimes being able to become a magistrate, John Bache has made the following statement:
'The MA is supportive of the magistracy being diverse and therefore wants to encourage people from under-represented groups to think about applying to be a magistrate. An important part of recruitment is raising awareness about the role and dispelling myths about eligibility. An example which has attracted media attention is the fact that having a criminal record involving a less serious offence (such as certain driving offences) – especially some time ago – would not necessarily prevent you becoming a magistrate. Local Advisory Committees will make decisions on individual suitability but we want to encourage people from all walks of life to consider becoming a magistrate.'
Any member who has a concern about this issue should contact Dr Jo Easton.