An introduction to how lay magistrates and district judges are selected and appointed

Therefore, the bench would never be a true cross-section of society. A much more restricted and smaller set of rules apply in civil matters unless in the Judges discretion, it is believed to be in the best interests of justice to apply the standard rules of evidence and procedure.

It has also been argued that the middle classes are over represented on the bench as far too few working class people have the time to become Lay Magistrates.

Lay Magistrates and District Judges

Appointments are primarily under the control of a Judicial Appointments Commission. This was the origin of the modern stipendiary magistrate district judge. This includes court procedures and substantive results. The existence of 30, citizens distributed around the country, all with a sound, practical understanding of what the law is and how it works is, I think, a democratic jewel beyond price.

How Magistrate Judges Are Selected, Appointed, and Reappointed

Are elected to serve six year terms as the judicial authority of a ward or district. Magistrates preside over more summary motoring offences and district judges more cases involving violence against the person.

Lord Justice Auld was scathing about these aspects of the research, stating in his report that "it is one thing to rely on uninformed views of the public as a guide to what may be necessary to engender public confidence, and another to rely on such views as an argument for fashioning the system to meet them.

Court open days organised by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service are another method of engaging with the community.


The arrows represent avenues of appeal. In Japan, as in the vast majority of civil-law systems, the civil-law judge is a civil servant. The conviction was quashed on appeal as the magistrates clearly demonstrated bias. In the United States, the appointive method is used in federal courts and in some state courts, but ideological and partisan considerations—particularly at the federal level—play a very significant role in appointments to the bench.

In Middlesex, for example, the commission was increasingly dominated by merchants, tradesmen and a small number of corrupt magistrates, known as "Trading Justices" because they exploited their office for financial purposes.

Purpose of the Act; Jurisdictional provisions for United States magistrates in civil and misdemeanor cases; Trial of jury and non-jury cases by magistrates; Duties of Although they had a licensing jurisdiction dealing liquor, betting and clubs licensing applications, this was transferred under the Licensing Act to local authorities.

A minimum of three court observations.

Magistrate (England and Wales)

Protective Orders can issue and result in jail time if violated. Magistrates must be committed to serving the community and be reliable. Bench Training and Development Committees BTDCs comprise magistrates elected by their bench colleagues to oversee the mentoring and appraisal of magistrates and to monitor their training.

On the former issue magistrates are often portrayed as part of the establishment, being used to deny defendants a basic human right; on the latter they are depicted as the near equivalent of a jury - the peers of people who appear before them, ordinary people with experience of the real world, bringing common sense to bear etc.Lay Magistrates and District Judges - Roles and Advantages/Disadvantages Words Jul 15th, 8 Pages Lay magistrates do not have to have any legal qualifications; with a few exceptions, anyone is eligible to serve as a magistrate and that includes blind people.

Unlike magistrates, District Judges (Magistrates' Courts) sit alone. They are appointed by open competition through a process administered by the JAC and are required to be qualified solicitors, barristers, or chartered legal executives.

These magistrates were termed "lay magistrates" to differentiate them from stipendary magistrates (now district judges). District judges sit alone to hear cases and are permanently employed by the Ministry of Justice (until Maythe Department for Constitutional Affairs).

Judges are elected or selected within each state and each state has levels of judication From the district courts to the appeals court, judges are needed for each court system. There is also a structure in place for electing or selecting federal judges. Lay Magistrates and District Judges; the candidate will then be appointed as a lay justice to a particular ‘local justice area’ under the ‘commission of the peace’.

that the middle classes are over represented on the bench as far too few working class people have the time to become Lay Magistrates.


A District Judge will sit. The research found that district judges handled cases more quickly than lay magistrates, due to their legal expertise and the fact that they sit alone and do not need to .

An introduction to how lay magistrates and district judges are selected and appointed
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