There is often a perception that judges are remote from the communities they serve and that they have little idea of ‘real life’. It is difficult to dispel this myth because invariably only those decisions deemed to be controversial will be seen in public, which perhaps then leads to the perception that judges are out of touch. Members of the judiciary are involved in a wide range of work beyond hearing cases in court including work on Local Justice Boards, Court Boards and Parole Boards. Many judges and magistrates are actively involved in work with students such as mock trial competitions.
It is also worth noting that far from being out of touch with their communities the vast majority of judges are actually from within them. Magistrates form the core of the judiciary, hearing some 97% of all criminal cases. They are volunteers, requiring no legal qualifications, and come from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures.