The Cheshire and Merseyside Advisory Committee deals with the recruitment and recommendation for the appointment of Magistrates across the region and is currently seeking new volunteers to join its ranks.
You do not need any prior legal training to assess judicial aptitude, but you must have excellent interpersonal skills, good judgement of character and a willingness to interview candidates for the Magistracy. Past interviewing experience is helpful but not essential as training will be provided to all successful candidates.
Interviews are generally conducted online so you will require reliable internet access. Members will not normally be appointed for a period that would extend beyond their 70th birthday and those appointed may serve up to a maximum of 9 years. The time commitment is very flexible and members can choose to interview on days that suit their own schedules and existing commitments.
Dan Longman, 33, who has been a member of the Advisory Committee since 2018 says, “being a member of the Advisory Committee is a vital role within the Justice System. We need ordinary people from our community to apply to ensure that those appointed to the magistracy are of sufficient calibre to do the job on behalf of us all. We assess candidates against a national framework to ensure fairness and equality, but it’s crucial that we as members represent wider society, with different backgrounds, points of view and experiences.”
Tracy Barr is a non-magistrate member of the Advisory Committee and has found the role fascinating, challenging and satisfying. “We go through the rigorous process of identifying applicants who have the necessary skills to be magistrates but at the same time, we are working as part of a team with other very skilled interviewers from whom we can learn a lot. Many people would say that they have taken that learning back into their own workplace and everyday lives.”
If you are interested in volunteering for this role, further information can be found on the Public Appointments website https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk or from the Legal Admin team on 0151 471 1081. Applications must be made by July 31st, 2022.
To find out more about the work of magistrates, visit www.icanbeamagistrate.co.uk