Could you be a magistrate and dispense justice in criminal cases?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 May 2018

North Somerset Courthouse.

North Somerset Courthouse.

Archant

Magistrate courts in and around Weston are in need of new people to join the bench and pass verdicts on criminal cases.

Avon and Somerset Bench is hoping to recruit 60 people to dispense justice at courthouses in Weston, Bristol, Bath, Taunton and Yeovil.

Magistrates are volunteers who sit in panels of three to decide the verdict in cases, and pass sentence.

They most regularly hear criminal cases, but can, with specialist training, hear youth and family court cases.

Dr Peter Reed JP, chairman of the Avon and Somerset Bench, said: “Magistrates play a hugely important role in our justice system.

“We deal with 95 per cent of all criminal cases.

“Being a magistrate is also the most interesting and rewarding voluntary work I know.”

Magistrates come from all walks of life, but should be between the ages of 18 and 65.

People are asked to commit to 13 full days a year, although there are also training commitments.

To make the bench more representative, applications will be particularly welcomed from people in paid employment, men, members of black and minority ethnic communities and people with disabilities.

Across the UK, it is estimated 54 per cent of magistrates are women, 86 per cent are over the age of 50 and 11 per cent are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

A spokesman for the Avon and Somerset Bench said: “This incredibly important and rewarding opportunity, right at the heart of the justice system, will not only gain you a greater awareness of your local community, through greater involvement with it, but will also mean you are making a positive difference within your community, ultimately making it a safer place to live.

“You will receive specialist training which will provide you with beneficial new skills, and a greater understanding of the law, which will be transferable to your working and general life.

“The magistracy depends on people like yourself to fulfil this essential role.”

If you would like to apply, you will need to observe court three times before submitting an application by June 5.

To learn more, visit www.gov.uk/become-magistrate/can-you-be-a-magistrate

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 17:00

The English National Ballet will bring its Swan Lake performance to the West Country – and the Mercury is giving readers a chance to win tickets to see the show.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

An East Brent play park will receive a five-figure upgrade to improve facilities for children in the village.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:05

The collected 30 something’s were partying like it was 2002 at Bristol’s SWX on Friday as post punk rockers A returned to Bristol to play the whole of their seminal album Hi-Fi Serious.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:05

More than £200,000 has been spent by North Somerset Council on redundancy payments in 18 months.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

The plan to join up a walking and cycling route from Brean to Clevedon has moved a step closer.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

Venture into the wizarding world with the latest remake of one of J K Rowling’s books.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:56

A woman who has vowed to complete 40 outdoor swims in her 40th year is just three challenges away from hitting her target.

Read more
Weston-super-Mare
Saturday, November 17, 2018

Homemade crafts and items were sold in aid of one of Weston’s best-loved sites.

Read more
Saturday, November 17, 2018

A determined Weston woman has completed a gruelling seven-month swimming challenge to raise money for Weston Hospicecare in memory of her partner’s mum.

Read more
Weston Hospicecare Weston-super-Mare
Saturday, November 17, 2018

The fun and fervour of this year’s carnival may only just have begun to die down, but 50 years ago attention focussed on bringing the event back to Weston’s streets.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 3°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists