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 what was the age and ethnic profile of lay magistrates appointed in the last year.

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 84 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 354 magistrates were appointed between 16 December 2012 and 17 December 2013, The age and ethnicity profile of those magistrates is shown below:

Age
Under 40 40-49 50-59 60-69
68 88 114 84
(19%) (25%) (32%) (24%)
Ethnicity
White Mixed Asian Black Chinese Other
306 10 13 18 1 6
(86%) (3%) (4%) (5%) (>1%) (1%)

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