To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the recruitment of additional district judges for appointment to magistrates’ courts is continuing; and what proportion of courts they regard as appropriate for such appointments.
The need for recruitment to the judiciary in the magistrates’ courts, including District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) is determined in accordance with a protocol agreed in December 2012 by a group led by the now Senior Presiding Judge. The ‘Protocol to support Judicial Deployment in the Magistrates’ Courts’, requires a local assessment of judicial needs to be made annually. The decision to recommend the recruitment of additional District Judges and Magistrates rests with the relevant Presiding Judge and HMCTS Delivery Director, following local consultation with the judiciary. The recruitment of District Judges (Magistrates’ Court) will therefore continue subject to business need.
There is no fixed proportion of courts where such appointments are made; appointments are determined in accordance with business need.