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Publications

We produce advocacy reports, briefing notes, consultation responses and position statements to support our policy work. Use the search box or filters to find what you're looking for, and drop us a line with any questions.

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  • Adult court matters
  • Diversity, disparity and inclusion
  • Youth court matters

Disproportionality in the youth justice system

The report from a roundtable hosted by the Magistrates' Association in 2019 with key stakeholders in the youth justice system. The roundtable covered issues including stop and search, engagement with the police, the Metropolitan Police Gangs Matrix, criminal exploitation, county lines, modern slavery, unconscious bias and data collection among other topics.
  • Youth court matters

Youth Remand Funding

We call for better and more granular data about youth remand to ensure that proposed solutions address the reality on the ground and that their success can be monitored. We also call for greater funding for youth court services overall and voice concern about children being remanded by a Saturday court.
  • Family court matters

Responding to allegations of alienating behaviours

Our response highlights ambiguities in the draft guidance on responding to allegations of alienating behaviours. We propose alternative wording that would ensure that allocation of cases is appropriate and does not overburden judges with cases that can be properly handled by magistrates.
  • Diversity, disparity and inclusion

Disability action plan 2023-2024

We highlight the inadequate accessibility of magistrates’ court buildings in England and Wales. We urge the Disability Unit to focus attention on improving accessibility in magistrates' courts and related data.
  • Wider justice system

Open justice: the way forward

We urge the government to make open justice a guiding principle in all decisions about reform and improvement. We advocate for more publicly available data, particularly data from magistrates' courts.
  • Adult court matters
  • Victims

Victims and Prisoners Bill: committee stage

We call for a central victims fund to reduce the re-traumatisation of victims and enure more effcient compensation.
  • Family court matters

Supporting earlier resolution of private family law arrangements

We support the introduction of a mandatory mediation requirement with exceptions where necessary. We call for authoritative information provision for separating families and a focus on reducing delay for children.
  • Diversity, disparity and inclusion
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate

Proposed Blackpool courthouse

Our response highlights the need for accessibility provision based in advocacy report ‘Inaccessible courts: a barrier to inclusive justice’. We also raise the need for adequate IT provision, and distinction between family and criminal courts and waiting areas.
  • Diversity, disparity and inclusion
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate

Inaccessible courts: a barrier to justice

We reveal that three quarters of magistrates courts are insufficiently accessible. We identify the barriers this creates for the public and magistrates and make six recommendations to urgently address the systemic issues in the court estate.
  • Family court matters

Pilot practice direction for domestic abuse protection orders

Our response to suggested reforms to domestic violence prevention orders (DAPO) calls for recognition that DAPO proceedings could be exploited by abusers, for care to be taken around information sharing and confidence in perpetuator programmes.
  • Family court matters

Early resolution of private family law arrangements

We support the proposed reforms to the mediation and information assessment meeting evidence requirements and exemptions. We call for sufficient resourcing and legal advisers to cope with the additional gatekeeping requirements.
  • Adult court matters

Utility warrants for pre-payment meters

We address magistrates' role in applications for installation of pre-payment meters and how vulnerability is considered. We stress that reform of this system should be pursued in Parliament.
  • Adult court matters
  • Wider justice system
  • Youth court matters

Out of court disposals: Fit for purpose or in need of reform?

We reveal a lack of comprehensive scrutiny of out of court disposals (OOCDs) and call for reforms to ensure consistent use and scrutiny of these police powers. We make seven recommendations that will, if implemented, achieve this.
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate

Strategy for the magistracy

We propose improvements to the Magistrates' Leadership Executive's draft strategy for 2022–2025. We suggest changes to the recruitment and retention strategy and a separate focus on diversity and inclusion for the magistracy.
  • Family court matters

Interim supervision order report

We support the retention of the supervision order for family public law cases. We identify a need to review the role of interim supervision orders which can lead to cases drifting and lack of adherence to the Public Law Outline.
  • Practicalities of being a magistrate

It shouldn’t cost to volunteer

Our seminal report on the costs to volunteer to be a magistrate uses findings of a survey of nearly 1,400 magistrates. It finds that the expenses regime does not compensate losses fully, leaving the majority of magistrates consistently out-of-pocket.
  • Adult court matters

Motoring offences

We call for more guidance from the Sentencing Council on disqualification in relation to motoring offences.
  • Diversity, disparity and inclusion
  • Family court matters
  • Youth court matters

Civil society alternative report under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Our response calls for children’s rights to participation to be better realised in the family court and for reform to the current law on turning-18 in the youth jurisdiction.
  • Domestic abuse
  • Family court matters

Practice direction for police disclosure orders in private law proceedings

We identify difficulties for litigants in person in ‘activating’ the police disclosure process. We call for courts to be empowered to make a police disclosure order of their own motion to ensure swift implementation.
  • Adult court matters

Burglary offences guidelines

We propose the inclusion of additional harm factors and propose that there should always be an option for consideration of a community order regardless of whether drugs or alcohol are a factor in the offence.
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