How to become a magistrate
You can get into this role through:
- official appointment
You can get insight into the work of a magistrate's court by arranging to visit one in your local area. This may help if you later apply for selection to be a magistrate.
You should contact the court before you go, so that staff can direct you to the most appropriate court open to the public.
Magistrates are selected for appointment by a local advisory committee.
You do not need a legal background or law qualification to become a magistrate but you do need to be:
- of good character
- aware of local social issues
- an understanding person
- mature, with a sense of fairness
- committed to serving the community
If you're appointed, you'll be given training before you sit in court, which usually includes a prison visit and meeting with the probation service. You'll also be assigned a mentor, who will support you during your first 12 months.
You'll continue to receive professional development training and have regular in-court assessments of your work.
As a volunteer magistrate, you'll be expected to work at least 13 full days in a year, or 26 half days. You will not be paid as a magistrate but you can claim an allowance for expenses.
You can find out more about how to become a magistrate from the: