The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Who Are These Magistrates Anyway?

We are, in truth, a pretty varied bunch. The cliché is that we are white, middle aged and middle class, but that is not quite true, and not at all fair. My bench is ethnically balanced pretty much in line with our area. We are balanced for gender, pretty much 50-50. I have to admit that we are predominantly middle class. Why? Because they are the ones who volunteer, of course. The Bench is supposed to be representative of the whole community, but we do not get enough applications from people working in everyday jobs. That doesn't mean that we get none, of course, but job pressures are so great these days that a lot of people are put off from applying by fear of what the boss will say.

There is a recruitment drive about to start because Parliament has increased our powers and is giving us a bigger share of the work for the future. There is a load of information on the Magistrates' Association website for anyone interested.

And no, you do not need a funny handshake or to know the Chairman's mother.