Magistrates: Age

Justice written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Labour, Redditch

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps are taken to ensure that appointments of magistrates avoid discrimination on grounds of age.

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

The Lord Chancellor appoints magistrates with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice. They are recruited and selected by 101 local advisory committees. The following steps are designed to avoid all forms of discrimination in that process:

appointment is strictly on merit; eligible candidates are assessed solely against the key qualities required of all magistrates, irrespective of factors such as age all advisory committee members undertake mandatory training on how to avoid bias or discrimination during the selection process the selection process has been reviewed by my Department's legal advisers to ensure compliance with applicable anti-discrimination legislation.

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