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Magistrates

Who are they?

Magistrates, or Justices of the Peace as they are also known, are judicial office holders who serve in Magistrates’ Courts throughout England and Wales.

What do they do?

All magistrates sit in courts as panels of three, mixed in gender, age, ethnicity etc . All three have equal decision-making powers but only one, the chair, will speak in court and preside over the proceedings.

Apply to be a magistrate

First 100 Years: celebrating the impact of pioneering women magistrates

Descendants of the first female magistrates in Leicestershire and Rutland will join in the centenary celebrations of women entering the law.
They will be among hundreds of people expected to attend two days of events in March honouring trailblazing women who helped change the face of the magistracy in the region.

Supporting the justice system from home

As we continue to find out how judicial office holders are adjusting to new ways of working during the Coronavirus pandemic, Ben Yallop, who is a magistrate in North Hampshire, describes his experience of sentencing from home.

Pupils learn more about judiciary at Schools Question Time event Pupils from 12 local schools attended and put forward a range of questions, from asking about a typical day as a judge to the best career paths within the law.

Magistrates Association marks first ever Young Magistrates Conference. On Saturday 9 February, the Magistrates Association’s Young Magistrates Special Interest Group (YMSIG) held its first ever national conference to celebrate the contribution of young magistrates. The aim of the conference was to create a space to celebrate and explore the role of young magistrates and provide networking and training opportunities.

 

Dana Denis-Smith, founder of First 100 Years, talks about the importance of having more female judges to be even more representative of society. The robes event at the Royal Courts of Justice was celebrating 100 years of women in the law. Lady Justice Hallett, Lady Justice Simler and Lady Justice Nicola Davies talk about their legal careers at the robes event, celebrating 100 years of women in the judiciary, held at the Royal Courts of Justice. They say the law is “a great career for women” and anyone thinking of applying should “believe in themselves and don’t be discouraged”.
Judiciary announces launch of first online course with King’s College London and FutureLearn Robes event – honouring female trailblazers in the judiciary. Original robes worn by first female High Court Judge now on display at Royal Courts of Justice
Why not visit the Royal Courts of Justice, in The Strand, central London, on Saturday 21 September, as part of London Open House? Visit the cells, see the legal costume exhibition, hear talks on how a courtroom works, meet court staff and much more. The building is open from 10am-4pm. Event is free but expect long queues. First 100 Years podcast – An Evening in Conversation with Dame Janet Smith DBE and Dame Caroline Swift DBE
One of our judges, HHJ Peter Nathan, has launched a new process for victims of domestic abuse that will pilot in Surrey.  It means they will no longer have to travel to court to get a protective order, but can do it on the phone. Listen to his interview to find out more. Applications for the Deputy High Court Support Programme close on 20 September. Follow this link to apply: https://www.judiciary.uk/announcements/deputy-high-court-judge-s94-support-programme/
Boost your community engagement – hold a court open day “It’s all well and good saying we must have more representation, but people must put themselves forward.” Agnes Xavier-Phillips JP (pictured) talks to BBC Wales about her role as a magistrate.
Listen to a number of judges talking about the importance of public service

‘Anyone who thinks being a judge might be for them, but perhaps thinks that their face might not fit because of their social background, this is the programme that will change that.’ DHCJ John Kimbell on the Deputy High Court S9 (4) programme.

Dame Victoria Sharp talks to Tina Daheley on Woman’s hour Mrs Justice Thornton : pride and prejudice – why women need to be at the heart of the rule of law
Can anybody become a judge?  “I didn’t go to a private school and I didn’t go to an Oxbridge or a red brick university and there was a time when I thought that part of my background would hold me back…” His Honour Judge Mukherjee talks about perceived challenges District Judge Etherington talks about judges having to develop new skills to help the people in their court
Courts around the UK come in all shapes and sizes and deal with different aspects of the law. Visit judiciary.uk for more information about Crown Courts, Court of Appeal, Family Courts, Magistrates Courts and more. Many of these are open to the public New President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Dame Victoria Sharp, is sworn in
The Lord Chief Justice pays tribute to the outgoing President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Sir Brian Leveson, at his valedictory ceremony Lady Justice Nicola Davies on her career and continuing pride in her home country
Why I became a judge: Employment Judge Adenike Balogun Judicial Question Time for schools
Lord Chief Justice Visits Dagenham School to talk to pupils about the role of the judiciary. The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales visits School in Dagenham to educate pupils about the work of judges and the judiciary Young Advocate of the Year