It evolved from National Bench Chairs’ Forum and was prompted by 2016 Justice Select Committee Report which concluded that there was a need for strategic leadership and a meaningful strategy for supporting and developing the magistracy.
MLE’s core purpose is to support the governance of magistrates’ courts and represent the interests of the magistracy.
It works collaboratively with senior Judiciary, the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service both locally and nationally.
MLE provide leadership support for regional leaders and Bench Chairs and publish/share relevant information, guidance and best practice with all magistrates.
There is one national leadership magistrate – Duncan Webster – and six regional leadership magistrates and one for Wales. All had to have been a Bench Chair in the previous three years, go through a selection process and have been appointed by the Lord Chief Justice for a period of time.
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