Benefits of being a magistrate
Serving as a magistrate can provide invaluable benefits to you and your community. You'll make an important contribution to upholding the law, and develop a deeper and broader understanding of your local community.
Individual and community benefits
There are a number of personal benefits you can gain as a magistrate, including:
- developing personal skills, such as decision-making, communicating and team-working, which can benefit your career and your employer
- developing an understanding of your local community and social issues
- gaining a working knowledge of the law
- building self-confidence
- improving leadership and mentoring skills
There are also benefits you can bring to your community as a magistrate:
- contributing to upholding the law and making your community a safer place
- contributing to the reform and rehabilitation of offenders
- helping offenders to make reparation to those affected by their offences
Personal testimonies from serving magistrates
Alika Gupta - Programme Leader
"If I were a defendant myself, I'd like to know I was being tried and sentenced by someone with a degree of common sense and who could relate to my situation. I consider myself fortunate because I've been given the privilege of representing the common person in the judicial system."
Grantley Yearwood - Aircraft Technician
"I think they wanted a bit more cultural input when deliberating about young people of ethnic origins. I get a sense of satisfaction from serving the local community and from adjudicating and ensuring that people in society are being treated fairly for the way they live."
Geoff Pinney - Laboratory Manager
"It has taught me an awful lot. I get to consider a range of people and events that I don't normally come across. Everyone brings a different set of problems into court, and you have to keep an eye on the human aspects behind the offending behaviour."
Yusuf Patel - Admin Officer
"It can be very challenging, but rewarding. Good common sense, good note-taking and a decent memory are qualities which are useful also. Any competent person can be a magistrate."
Jenny Kerr - Self Employed Conference Organiser
"I now sit on the youth bench as well as the adult bench and I find doing youth work incredibly rewarding. I really feel we can make a difference. As a magistrate you're mixing with very like minded people and you don't need a legal background - just lots of common sense."
Manjit Singh Buttar - Group Station Manager
"Becoming a magistrate was a way of me doing more to represent the Sikh community and to give something back to the nation as a whole. My employer has been very supportive - every year I get 18 full days with pay to sit in court and my manager is very flexible. At work I manage people and I'm also a mentor both at work and for other magistrates - so the two roles really complement each other."
Diana Chitty - Partner at Solicitors
"I'm a working mother so I have the family, the job and the magistracy to deal with - I have to juggle my timetable a bit, but the senior partners recognise it's a worthwhile thing to do, as long as I get my work done. I also thoroughly enjoy serving - it's incredibly rewarding and interesting and I feel it matters. It's the most important thing I do after looking after my children."
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