Magistrates' Courts

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 12th December 2017.

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

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Shailesh Vara MP on 25 February 2015 (HC 224618), what proportion of the total work undertaken in magistrates' courts was presided over by (1) lay magistrates, and (2) district judges, on 1 April in each year from 2015 to 2017.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

For 1st April 2015 and 2017 the data are set out in the following table[1]:

Date

Judiciary

Cases by number

Cases in %

01 April 2015

Magistrates

10,150

89.90%

District Judges

1143

10.10%

01 April 2016

Magistrates

6,832

89.10%

District Judges

833

10.90%

01 April 2017[2]

Magistrates

517

92.30%

District Judges

43

7.70%

31 March 2017

Magistrates

5,687

91.80%

District Judges

510

8.20%

03 April 2017

Magistrates

7,130

88.70%

District Judges

911

11.30%

Magistrates and District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) bring different but equally valuable skills to our justice system and the magistrates’ courts. We continue to work with magistrates to ensure they have as full a role as possible.

[1] ‘Cases’ provide a count of cases that have a hearing listed on the specified hearing date. It is possible for a single defendant to have more than one case listed at the same time. The data include Criminal, Civil, and Enforcement cases, but will exclude any work in the single family court. It is possible to have Magistrates sitting with District Judges in the same session; where this occurs the case will be counted under both.

[2] 1st April 2017 was a Saturday so the data has also been provided for 31st March 2017 (the working day before) and 3rd April 2017 (the working day afterwards).

[1] ‘Cases’ provide a count of cases that have a hearing listed on the specified hearing date. It is possible for a single defendant to have more than one case listed at the same time. The data include Criminal, Civil, and Enforcement cases, but will exclude any work in the single family court. It is possible to have Magistrates sitting with District Judges in the same session; where this occurs the case will be counted under both.

[1] 1st April 2017 was a Saturday so the data has also been provided for 31st March 2017 (the working day before) and 3rd April 2017 (the working day afterwards).

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