Reforming the role of magistrates:implications for summary justice in England and Wales

Donoghue, Jane (2014) Reforming the role of magistrates:implications for summary justice in England and Wales. Modern Law Review, 77 (6). pp. 928-963. ISSN 0026-7961

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Abstract

The role of lay magistrates in England and Wales has been progressively undermined by protracted processes of reform over the last two decades. Current government proposals aim to reorient and ‘strengthen’ their function through the creation of new magisterial responsibilities such as oversight of out of court disposals and greater involvement with local justice initiatives. This article argues that while these proposals embody necessary and important areas for reform, taken in isolation they will fail to consolidate the role of magistrates in summary justice unless they are enacted alongside other measures which aim to reaffirm the status of lay justices, and which seek to reverse the trend which has prioritised administrative efficiency at the expense of lay justice. Rapidly declining magistrate numbers together with continuous (and continuing) programs of court closures are irreconcilable with the future viability of a lay magistracy.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Modern Law Review
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Law School
ID Code: 70782
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 15 Sep 2014 08:22
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2020 07:45
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/70782

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