HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO BE A J.P.?

ESSENTIAL QUALITIES
There are, however, six key qualities which
are regarded as vital if you are to perform
successfully in the role of a magistrate. It
doesn’t matter how or where you developed
these qualities. It could be through your
current or previous employment, involvement
in community or voluntary activities, public
appointments, leisure activities, family life
or academic study. The most important thing
is that you can demonstrate these in the
selection process and, if appointed, apply
them to the role. They are:
° Good character: to have personal integrity
and enjoy the respect and trust of others.
° Understanding and communication:
to be able to understand documents,

relevant facts, follow evidence
and communicate effectively.
° Social awareness: to appreciate and
accept the rule of law.
° Maturity and sound temperament:
to have an awareness and understanding
of people and a sense of fairness.
° Sound judgement: to be able to think
logically, weigh arguments and reach
a sound decision.
° Commitment and reliability: to be
committed to serving the community,
willing to undergo training and to be in
sufficiently good health to undertake
your duties on a regular basis.
HEALTH AND DISABILITY
We will not be able to select you if your
health prevents you from carrying out a
magistrate’s range of duties. However,
applications are welcomed from people
with a disability who are able to carry out
their duties either unassisted, or with the
benefit of certain reasonable adjustments
made to court premises or working/sitting
arrangements in accordance with section
6 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
NATIONALITY
British nationality is not a requirement

All the above is taken from the Ministry of Justice Website and indicates the qualities considered necessary for the job. Interesting isn`t it that you don`t have to be British. You can retain your passport from eg Australia or Zambia and sit in judgement in a British Court if the Ministry considers you suitable. Now what would you consider the minimum age to be appointed? Looking at it from a practical point of view if you, reader, were facing a bench in a Magistrates` Court how young would you consider a member of that bench to be for you to think s/he`s too young to do this job.

Send in your comments and if you`re not shy about it state your age; different age groups have different opinions on this topic.

I`ll let you know the answer in a few days.

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