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How to become a Magistrate

avg. starting salary

Are you fascinated with the British justice system? Have you always thought you’d sound good as a Justice of the Peace? If yes, you could be the ideal candidate to become a Magistrate. Magistrates are volunteers and are responsible for passing serious crimes such as murder to the Crown Court after a preliminary hearing. They also make decisions about bail and give out punishments such as fines, community service and prison sentences. As a Magistrate, you might be required to sit in on cases involving:
  • Theft
  • Motoring offences
  • TV licence evasion
  • Child custody and adoption

Firstly, although can claim expenses for things like travel, you don't get paid for being a Magistrate because you're intended to be an impartial representative of the local area. So a passion for the profession is absolutely necessary to take this job. However, as you'll only need to be in court for at around two weeks per year, it's perfectly possible to do another job as well as being a Magistrate, as long as you clear the time off with your employer. Importantly, you can't be a Magistrate if you work in certain jobs (such as a Police Officer) and you must be able to demonstrate that you have visited a Magistrates' Court at least once before you apply. All Magistrates will take the same judicial oath as a Judge before beginning training.
  • Well aware of current social issues
  • Mature and fair
  • Reliable and punctual
  • Excellent at communication
  • Able to understand legal-related documents
  • Good at decision-making

"I like being a Magistrate because it gives me the chance to work with people from all walks of life and the role itself is both interesting and rewarding. Of course, it can be difficult when you're faced with a tough decision, but knowing that I'm making a difference to the community reassures me and encourages me to always make the right choice."

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