Updated Wednesday 15th January 2003
Local Magistrates Needed
Herts is looking for new recruits to serve as magistrates. The authority has organised an open evening for those interested.
|Hertford Magistrates Court|
The event takes place on Monday, January 20, from 6pm to 8pm, at four courts around the county including Hertford’s Shire Hall and the Civic Centre in St Albans.
Visitors will be shown round by serving magistrates and officers of the court who will also give informal presentations and answer questions. There is no need to reserve a place, just turn up on the evening.
The county’s Advisory Committee is hoping a wide range of people who might have never considered such voluntary service will attend.
Local people selected to serve as magistrates deal with criminal cases such as theft, criminal damage, public disorder and motoring offences. They work as a team of three, listening to the evidence and making structured decisions, with legal advice from their court clerk.
Information packs and application forms will be available at the open evenings. They can also be obtained from the Lieutenancy Office, County Hall, Hertford SG13 8DE. Completed application forms must be returned by March 31, 2003.
There are no formal or academic qualifications for magistrates but candidates must satisfy an interview panel that they have respect for the law, awareness of social issues, maturity, sound judgement and the ability to listen to all sides of an argument, and contribute to a balanced and fair decision.
Magistrates are expected to attend court about 18 days a year. There will be training provided but magistrates are not paid for their work although they do get some allowance for travelling, subsistence and, in some circumstance, financial loss.
The Hertfordshire Magistrates' Courts Service site has more information on what is involved in becoming a magistrate.
© 2003 Dave Brewer www.brookmans.com