Justice: Lay Magistrates

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th January 2014.

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Photo of Lord Beecham Lord Beecham Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Justice)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord McNally on 11 December (WA 126), how many lay magistrates resigned in the last year; and what was the age and ethnic profile of those individuals.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lords Spokesperson (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

A more diverse judiciary is important in retaining the public’s confidence and trust in justice, and better reflecting the society it serves. This Government has made a number of changes through the Crime & Courts Act 2013 that we believe will promote judicial diversity. We have introduced part time working in the senior courts, including the Supreme Court, we have enabled the equal merit provision for judicial appointments to allow protected characteristics to be taken into account where two applicants are of equal merit, and a statutory duty for the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice to encourage judicial diversity.

A total of 2,016 magistrates resigned in the last year. The ethnicity and age profiles of those magistrates is shown in the tables below:

White Mixed Asian Black Chinese Other
1910 8 51 37 2 8
(94%) (1%) (2%) (1%) (1%) (1%)
Under 30 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69
3 23 118 223 1639
(1%) (1%) (6%) (11%) (81%)

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