Magistrates

elliot-jack-hutc
Mind Map by , created almost 5 years ago

Mind Map on Magistrates, created by elliot-jack-hutc on 12/07/2014.

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elliot-jack-hutc
Created by elliot-jack-hutc almost 5 years ago
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1 Role of Magistrates
1.1 Lay magistrates are unpaid, part-time and unqualified justices. They are the most important part of the legal system. They deal with over 2 million cases a year.
1.1.1 Criminal Cases
1.1.1.1 They try 97% of all the criminal cases in the country, they try every summary offence and decide if the defendant is guilty or not.
1.1.1.2 The max sentences that they can give is a prison sentence of 6 months or a fine of £5000.
1.1.1.3 They are used to deal with the the mode of trial hearings of triable either way offences. This is when they hear the evidence and advise the defendant on the best court to be tried in. However they have the ability to choose trial by jury if they wish.
1.1.1.4 They grant warrants of arrest and to search a building, hear all applications for bail and they first hearing of all indictable offences.
1.1.2 Civil Cases
1.1.2.1 Magistrates can hear the some civil cases and must be specially trained.
1.1.2.1.1 Family Proceedings Court
1.1.2.2 They have powers to grant licences for the sale of alcohol, betting and gaming.
2 Discussion Question.
2.1 Disadvantages
2.1.1 Often perceived as being middle aged and middle class.
2.1.2 They tend to be prosecution based because they believe the police too readily.
2.1.3 Sentences differ from area to area quite dramatically.
2.1.4 The lack of legal knowledge of lay magistrates could affect the sentences given, even though they have a legally qualified clerk or advisor.
2.2 Advantages
2.2.1 Magistrates provide a wider cross-section of society.
2.2.2 They have good local knowledge so they may understand the problems that are around the area, unlike a professional judge.
2.2.3 The use of unpaid magistrates saves millions and replacing them with professional judges would cost millions.
2.2.4 Legal advisors help with the legal aspects of the magistrates court.
3 Qualifications and Appointment
3.1 Qualifications
3.1.1 No legal knowledge or experience is needed and nor is any level of academic qualifications.
3.1.1.1 Between the ages of 18 and 65
3.1.2 There are no qualifications but there are six key characteristics that all candidates should have.
3.1.2.1 Good Character
3.1.2.2 Understanding and communication
3.1.2.3 Social Awareness
3.1.2.4 Maturity and Sound Temperament
3.1.2.5 Sound Jugdement
3.1.2.6 Commitment and Reliability
3.1.3 Certain people are excluded from becoming magistrates.
3.1.3.1 Anyones work who will interfer with there work as a magistrate, such as police officers and traffic wardens.
3.1.3.2 People with previous criminal convictions
3.1.3.3 Members of the armed forces.
3.1.3.4 Undischarged bankrupts.
3.1.3.5 Anyone who due to a disability could no carry out all duties of magistrates.
3.1.3.6 Those who have a close relative on the same bench.
3.2 Appointment
3.2.1 Around 1500 new lay magistrates are appointed each year by the Lord Chancellor.
3.2.1.1 To do this he relies on recommendations made by local advisory committees.
3.2.1.1.1 The candidates have two interviews by they advisory committee. One to assess their attitude and personality and a second practical.
3.2.1.1.1.1 The local advisory committee then pass on the most suitable candidates to the Lord Chancellor.
4 Training of Magistrates
4.1 The training of lay magistrates is supervised by the Magistrates Committee of the Judicial Studies Board.
4.1.1 But due to the large number of magistrates the actual training is carried out in local areas and sometimes through the senior clerk the court.
4.2 Initial Training- Before they sit in the court they go through some basic training of there role and then sit on the bench with two experience magistrates.
4.2.1 Mentoring- Each new magistrate gets an appointed mentor who guides them through the first months and have 6 formal mentoring sitting in the first 12-18 months.
4.2.1.1 Core Training- Over the first year visits to prison or young offenders institutes and observation of other magistrates will equip them with key knowledge they need.
4.2.1.1.1 Consolidation Training- This build on what they have learned and allows them get ready of the first appraisal.
4.2.1.1.1.1 First Appraisal- 12-18 months after appointment when the mentor and magistrate agreed they are appraised.

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