Who Makes The Decisions In The Magistrates Court?

Magistrates’ powers are limited to imposing six months’ imprisonment (or twelve months aggregate sentences for triable either-way offences), or imposing unlimited fines. They also have a civil jurisdiction, in relation to family work, and the enforcement of child support and council tax payments.

What are the 6 key qualities of magistrates?

19.2 The six key qualities sought in those applying to become magistrates are, good character, understanding and communication, social awareness, maturity and sound temperament, sound judgment and commitment and reliability (see section 6).

Do magistrates have to give reasons?

There are statutory provisions that require Magistrates to give reasons for some decisions. Section 16 of the Bail Act requires that a Magistrate who refuses bail to an applicant must give reasons for the refusal.

What are the disadvantages of magistrates?


  • Not representative – similar criticisms to judiciary being from middle-class and professional backgrounds.
  • Inconsistent – Magistrates can be slow to reach a decision often retiring to consider their verdict where a professional district judge would come to a decision straight away.

How much do magistrates get paid?

As of 2019, judges, magistrate judges and magistrates made a mean annual magistrate salary of $128,550, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

What qualities are required for a magistrate?

Becoming a magistrate

  • Good character;
  • Understanding and communication;
  • Social awareness;
  • Maturity and sound temperament;
  • Sound judgement;
  • Commitment and reliability.

Is magistrates court serious?

Magistrates deal with three kinds of cases: … Summary offences. These are less serious cases, such as motoring offences and minor assaults, where the defendant is not usually entitled to trial by jury.

Do magistrates get expenses?

Expenses can cover certain costs, including travel and subsistence where required. Magistrates who suffer a loss of earnings as a result of their duties can claim a loss allowance, usually at a set rate; evidence of financial loss must be provided before magistrates can make a claim. …

Do magistrates send people to jail?

Depending on the offence, the judge or magistrate will have a range of sentence types they can give an offender according to the seriousness of the offence and other factors such as the offender’s previous criminal record. … Sentence types include prison, community sentences, fines and discharges.

What is the maximum sentence magistrates can give?

In the Magistrates’ Court, the maximum sentence that can be imposed on an adult defendant for a single either-way offence is 6 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine. A defendant facing 2 or more either-way offences can be sentenced to a maximum of 12 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine.

What happens at first hearing in magistrates court?

The first hearing will decide whether the severity of the offence(s) requires your case to be redirected to the Crown Court. … Such offences are called ‘indictable only’ (such as murder and manslaughter) and can only be heard at the Crown Court.

What happens at a magistrates hearing?

At the Magistrates’ Court, your trial will be heard either by a District Judge or by a bench of lay Magistrates. A legal advisor sits in front of the Magistrates and their job is to advise them on issues of law and also to take notes of the evidence.

Do all cases go to magistrates court first?

All cases start at the Magistrates’ Court but at their first appearance a defendant facing an indictable only offence will simply be sent directly to the Crown Court.

Do I need a solicitor at a magistrates court?

Legal Representation. You should attend the Magistrates’ Court in good time for your hearing. It is best to have a solicitor represent you if possible. … For instance, if you are likely to go to prison if found guilty, you will get legal aid.

What happens if you plead guilty in a magistrates court?

Pleading guilty means that you admit you did the crime. If you plead guilty, the court will decide what should happen next, which could be a fine or a prison sentence.

Can anyone be a magistrate?

A bachelor’s degree and experience in legal matters is the minimum requirement for a magistrate position. In practice, the magistrate will have completed a law degree (Juris Doctor) program.

Who appoints magistrates to their role?

The Senior Presiding Judge appoints magistrates on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice. You do not need legal training or formal qualifications to become a magistrate. In court, magistrates usually sit as a panel of three – an experienced chairman and two ‘wingers’.

What training do magistrates have?

Magistrates do not need any specific legal training, nor do they sit exams. A magistrate undergoes mandatory training of about 3 and a half days before sitting in court, and will be allocated a mentor for their first year.

How do you address a magistrate?

Call the Magistrate ‘Your Honour’, ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’. Call others in the courtroom (such as lawyers and witnesses) by their title and surname; for example, Mrs Citizen. Be polite.

Is a magistrate a real judge?

In United States federal courts, magistrate judges are judges appointed to assist district court judges in the performance of their duties. … Magistrate judges generally oversee first appearances of criminal defendants, set bail, and conduct other administrative duties.

What advantages are there to using magistrates in the justice system?

Using ordinary people as magistrates has many advantages:

  • A wider range of people deal with cases, this would not be possible if magistrates had to be qualified.
  • Magistrates often have local knowledge of the area they are working in.
  • There are very few appeals about decisions made by magistrates.
  • It saves money.

Who are the lay magistrates?

Full Definition of Lay Magistrates. Lay Magistrates deal with the vast majority of criminal cases in the English legal system. All criminal cases start in the Magistrates’ Court and around one million cases a year are heard by Magistrates. They uphold the important principle in our legal system of trial by one’s peers.

How many days do magistrates sit?

How often do magistrates sit in court? The Lord Chancellor requires a commitment from a magistrate that he/she can sit sufficiently frequently to keep in touch (an average of 35 and a minimum of 26 half day sittings per year. Sometimes more if a magistrate is a member of Family or Youth Panel).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.