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  • 1. Magistrates By Mrs Hilton
  • 2. Draw a spider diagram • What do you already know about magistrates? • As this presentation continues see if you can add to your spider diagram • If not then you all ready know it all, congratulations!
  • 3. Key part of Criminal Justice System • Magistrates' courts are a key part of the criminal justice system and 95% of cases are completed there. • In addition magistrates' courts deal with many civil cases e.g. family matters, liquor licensing and betting and gaming. • For over 600 years Justices of the Peace have held courts in order to punish law breakers, resolve local disputes and keep order in the community.
  • 4. What’s a stipendiary magistrate? • In addition, there are also about 130 District Judges. District judges in magistrates' courts are required to have at least seven years experience as a Barrister or Solicitor and two years experience as a Deputy District Judge. • They sit alone and deal with more complex or sensitive cases e.g. cases arising from Extradition Act, Fugitive Offenders Act and Serious Fraud. Until August 2000 these District Judges were known as Stipendiary Magistrates, but were renamed in order to recognise them as members of the professional judiciary
  • 5. Who are Magistrates? • Magistrates are members of the local community appointed by the Lord Chancellor. • No formal qualifications are required but magistrates need intelligence, common sense, integrity and the capacity to act fairly. Membership should be widely spread throughout the area covered and drawn from all walks of life. • All magistrates are carefully trained before sitting and continue to receive training throughout their service. • Magistrates are unpaid volunteers but they may receive allowances to cover travelling expenses and subsistence.
  • 6. Powers of Magistrates • Magistrates cannot normally order sentences of imprisonment that exceed 6 months (or 12 months for consecutive sentences), or fines exceeding £5000. In cases triable either way (in either the magistrates' court or the Crown Court) the offender may be committed by the magistrates to the Crown Court for sentencing if a more severe sentence is thought necessary.
  • 7. Magistrates overview • Magistrates or Justices of the Peace (JPs) are volunteers from all walks of life who deal with around 95 per cent of criminal cases in England and Wales, including many of the crimes that most affect the public, such as anti-social behaviour.
  • 8. How much time will it take up? • You need to be able to commit at least 26 half- days per year to sit in court (employers are required by law to grant reasonable time off work for magistrates). • Magistrates are not paid for their services. • However, many employers allow time off with pay for magistrates. • If you do suffer loss of earnings you may claim a loss allowance at a set rate. You can also claim allowances for travel and subsistence.
  • 9. Who can be appointed? • Magistrates can be appointed from the age of 18 and they must retire at 70. • However, the Lord Chancellor will not generally appoint anyone aged 65 or over. • Selection is based entirely on merit and applications are welcome from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. • You don't need legal or academic qualifications to be a magistrate and full training is provided.
  • 10. Duties • As a magistrate, you will sit in your local magistrates' court dealing with a wide range of less serious criminal cases and civil matters. Some of your duties will include: • determining whether a defendant is guilty or not and passing the appropriate sentence • deciding on requests for remand in custody • deciding on applications for bail • committing more serious cases to the Crown Court
  • 11. Youth Courts • With experience and further training you could also go on to deal with cases in the family and youth courts.
  • 12. Training For Youth Court • You will undertake a training programme to help you develop all the knowledge and skills you will need to serve as a magistrate. • This is given locally by your Justices' Clerk (legal advisor) or a member of his or her team. • You will be in a group with other new magistrates recruited at the same time as you. • Training will be given using a variety of methods, which may include pre-course reading, small- group work, use of case studies, computer-based training and CCTV.
  • 13. Who sits in court? • Magistrates sit on a 'bench' of three (an experienced chairman with two other magistrates) and are accompanied in court by a trained legal advisor to give guidance on the law and This isn’t Mrs Hilton!!! sentencing options.
  • 14. Personal Benefits • There are a number of personal benefits you can gain as a magistrate, including: • developing personal skills, such as decision- making, communicating and team-working, which can benefit your career and your employer • developing an understanding of your local community and social issues • gaining a working knowledge of the law • building self-confidence • improving leadership and mentoring skills
  • 15. Community Benefits • There are also benefits you can bring to your community as a magistrate: • contributing to upholding the law and making your community a safer place • contributing to the reform and rehabilitation of offenders • helping offenders to make reparation to those affected by their offences
  • 16. Spider Diagram • So how does it look now? • Now read the Magistrates notes, can you add any extra legs? • Now read the Auld Review Summary, can you add more legs (does it look like a millipede yet?