Magistrates in the Community

Magistrates’ courts are a key part of our criminal justice system dealing with over 95% of all cases.

Cases in the magistrates’ courts are usually heard by a panel of three magistrates who are appointed by the Crown.  Magistrates aren’t paid for what they do and whilst they may claim expenses and an allowance for any loss of earnings the role which they undertake exemplifies the Rotary ideal of service to their community.

Stephen Russell, a member of the Wolverhampton bench, joined our meeting tonight as part of the Magistrates in the Community Project – a Magistrates’ Association initiative that has developed over the past few years to increase public awareness of the role of magistrates in the criminal and civil justice system.

Stephen ran through a number of scenarios with members of the Club which gave us a valuable insight into the decisions which he and his colleagues take when sentencing. The presentation gave rise to a lively discussion in the room and left us with a much greater understanding of the work of our magistrates.

Stephen and the other magistrates involved in the Project are willing to attend primary, secondary, sixth form colleges, schools, community groups and employers to discuss their work and on the evidence of tonight it’s well worth doing. Visit the Magistrates Association website to arrange a visit of your own.

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