back to article Do you know what TikTok is? Then you might make a good magistrate, says Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice in England and Wales has launched what it sees as the biggest recruitment drive in the magistrate system's 650-year history, to address the backlog in cases partly caused by the pandemic. A £1m marketing campaign aims to boost numbers by 4,000 or a third of the current workforce. Teachers, bricklayers, …

  1. Ol'Peculier

    When I did jury service at Crown Court about 8 years ago, the judge solemnly looked at us all and told us that we must not talk about the case with family or friends, or post about it on MySpace...

  2. TomPhan

    It's not knowing what TikTok is that counts...'s knowing why people use TikTok that's important.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: It's not knowing what TikTok is that counts...

      Does anyone know that?

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: It's not knowing what TikTok is that counts...


  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Observing a few cases would soon dispel any notion that any magistrate or judge would be out of touch. As the slogan used to go, "all human life is there".

    I did - very briefly - consider it when I retired, largely as a matter of curiosity as to what it looked like from the other side of the witness box. Very briefly because I looked at the bumf about training and decided it seemed to be all in managerial-sounding jargon.

  4. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Missing Link

      What's a "gist rate" and how does one beam it? Enquiring minds...

  5. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    I looked into

    this a couple of years ago, but its not for me.

    Partly because you'll have your hands tied by the sentencing guidelines laid down by the home office(and the clerk of the court really does all the hard work), but because , as a police friend said to me, "You'll get sick of seeing the same repeat customers again and again and you'll not be able to do a damn thing about it"

    1. ChipsforBreakfast

      Re: I looked into

      Surely guidance is just that - guidance and as such the magistrate is free to ignore it if they see fit.

      Thus those 'repeat customers' could well find themselves exhausting the magistrate's patience quite quickly and suffering the (probably well deserved) consequences..

      I can almost hear them bleating about guidelines as they're led away to begin a year's stretch!

      1. emfiliane

        Re: I looked into

        Deviating from guidance requires a legally sound reason, not just "this guy obviously can't get it together." The vast majority of appellate slapdowns are for magistrates that get too worked up to follow the law, as asinine as its restrictions might seem at the time.

  6. DJV Silver badge

    "One might assume that excludes the majority of the current Cabinet"

    No, I wouldn't "assume" that at all - I should say it "definitely" excludes that bunch of corrupt tossers.

    1. Mishak Silver badge

      They would need to be able to demonstrate ‘good character’

      Enough said?

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "One might assume that excludes the majority of the current Cabinet"

      They don't do drug testing for magistrates do they ?

  7. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Who else?

    As Doctor Syntax said, he considered this when he retired. As did I. Because when we are still working we're...well...., working .

    Most of those " Teachers, bricklayers, stay-at-home mums," are busy teaching, sticking bricks together or staying at home being mums. And in the case of the latter, if they wanted and were able to go out to work, presumably, mostly they'd take paid jobs, just like the teachers and bricklayers and everyone else.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Who else?

      So we could just recruit only the unemployed?

      1. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

        Re: Who else?

        No, we should pay a wage. Could be a nice fill in and no reason it shouldn't be outside ir35. If you don't pay, the only people motivated to do it will be bored or seeking power, neither are great attributes.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Who else?

          There were such posts - stipendiary magistrates or the Irish equivalent, the RM - resident magistrate. Somerville & Ross's accounts of the (mis)adventures of one of latter are a good read.

          I'm not sure if they still exist - it would involve paying real money.

  8. ShadowSystems

    I read the FAQ...

    But it didn't answer the question of if I'd be allowed to order beheadings or not.

    What's the point of being up on the bench & getting to pound the gavel if you can't order "OFF with their HEAD!"?

    I mean, I'd *volunteer* to do the job if I got to do that, but not being able to do it AND unpaid?

    *Comical pout*

    Don' wanna. Hurrumph... =-)p

    1. James Wilson

      Re: I read the FAQ...

      Hand me the black cap, will you, I'll be needing that

    2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Valar Morghulis

      The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.

      Careful though, you wouldn't want to get claret on your Chinos.

      1. Aladdin Sane

        Re: Valar Morghulis

        Decent rain coat will see you right.

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Valar Morghulis

        That'll save wasting time on appeals, why not streamline the process by having plod do it all on the spot.

        I'm sure it's not been tried before /sarc

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Valar Morghulis

          So when plod retire they have to walk the cursed earth (Middlesbrough) rather than joining the golf club

          1. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: Valar Morghulis

            Retirement in M'Bro - a Dreddful fate!

  9. Cederic Silver badge

    they keep sacking magistrates

    So you sign up, you work your years gaining experience and getting good at being a Magistrate, you turn 70 and.. you get sacked.

    Maybe if they have a shortage they shouldn't be turfing out 5% (if 49% are over 60, in ten years 100% of those will be 70) of magistrates each year for nothing more than 'not being 69 any more'.

  10. Piro Silver badge

    It's something I've never installed the app for..

    .. and have blocked entirely at a DNS level on my home network.

  11. tiggity Silver badge


    Magistrates need to volunteer a minimum of 13 days service each year, which the Ministry believes means the role can fit "easily alongside full-time employment and caring responsibilities."

    .. well it actually says 26 half days - devil in the detail, can you guarantee its just 13 days or will some instances be half days only leading to more than 13 working days affected.

    .. But, as people have said - busy working. Magistrate unpaid with PITA expenses system that's not fit for purpose and means you are worse off than working.

    I would imagine magistrates mainly older as they have either retired or can afford to work just a few days a week and so have plenty of free time.

    Wonder if the over 50% female figure is because of some of the women not needing to work as partners income enough for the household?

    .. as I know some relatively young female magistrates* with wealthy husbands so the women do not need to work and its yet another "hobby" for them (feel sorry for any poor low level crim in front of them as they really have no concept of how shit life is & how its near impossible to not get into debt when you live in poverty)

    * Not that any of them are great friends of mine as their right wing politics totally at odds with my views, friends of friends or people met through work over the years where you just have to politely keep occasional contact & feign interest in what they are doing just to oil the wheels of expected social behaviour.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: ..mmm

      Would it be overly cynical of me to imagine that if you are unemployed or on benefits you lose them by being an unpaid magistrate ?

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