Yesterday, I called for immediate reform of the Magistrates court system. This follows the House of Commons Justice Select Committee, which I am a member of, report into the role of the Magistracy and its workings.
Established over 650 years ago, the magistracy is recognised as an integral part of the judiciary of England and Wales. There are just over 17,000 magistrates, all of whom are unpaid volunteers. They deal with over 90% of criminal cases and a substantial proportion of non-criminal work including family law cases. Traditionally, the linked principles of ‘local justice’ and ‘justice by one’s peers’ have underpinned the role of the magistracy, and for many magistrates these principles remain important today. Read more “Calling for reform of the magistrates court”