Updated October 2023
This edition of the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State’s Directions for Advisory Committees on Justices of the Peace replaces the edition issued in September 2020.
The document is laid out in 6 parts:
Part 1 – Advisory committees
Part 2 – Eligibility for the magistracy
Part 3 – The selection process for magistrates
Part 4 – Submitting recommendations for appointment
Part 5 – Matters arising after appointment
Part 6 – Reinstatements to the Magistracy
Advisory Committees must adhere to these Directions and use the materials available in the committee toolkit. It is recognised that the Directions cannot cater for every circumstance that will arise in the course of a committee’s work. Committees should use sensible discretion in dealing with such issues, ensuring they do not deviate from the spirit of the Directions. They should always seek guidance from Magistrates HR at the Judicial Office (details of whom are circulated regularly) about any queries regarding the application of these Directions to a particular issue.
Since commencement of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, the Lord Chief Justice has been responsible in legislation for the appointment of magistrates. The Lord Chief Justice (in accordance with Schedule 13 of the Act) has delegated his power to appoint magistrates to the Senior Presiding Judge. The Lord Chancellor holds joint responsibility with the Lord Chief Justice for others matters pertaining to magistrates, including disciplinary responsibility.
This document can be accessed below. Hard-copies will only be made available in exceptional circumstances. Any requests for hard-copies, or for copies in alternative formats such as Braille, should be made to the Magistrates HR Team.