‘Could you be a magistrate?’ asks Cambridgeshire courts as hunt for new magistrates begins

200 new magistrates are wanted in Cambridgeshire.

200 new magistrates are wanted in Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Archant

A call has been put out to Cambridgeshire residents to keep the wheels of justice turning – by becoming a magistrate.

With more magistrates needed in the county, the courts are now looking for fair-minded and committed people from a range of backgrounds.

Joan Tiplady, who became a magistrate aged 32, said: “There are huge personal and professional benefits for anyone willing and able to put in the time as so many of the skills are transferable.”

Magistrates are volunteers but receive expenses and often sit in adult crime and youth crime courts as well as family courts.

Ms Tiplady said: “The range of responsibilities provides opportunities to deal with some of the most difficult issues affecting our community. It is a satisfying experience which has broadened my outlook as an individual.”

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Magistrates usually sit in teams of three for between 13 and 35 days a year. Legal knowledge is not needed as magistrates have a legally qualified clerk to advise them. New magistrates receive training and have a mentor for the first 12 months, then receive continuous professional development. New recruits could sit in courts in Peterborough, Cambridge and Huntingdon.

After experience and further training, magistrates can sit in the youth court dealing with people under 18.

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To apply, or for further details, visit https:www.gov.ukbecome-magistrate.

Application forms are available now and can be submitted from March 1 - closing date is March 31.

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