Magistrates can be appointed from the age of 18 and retire at 70. Magistrates do not require legal training or qualifications. Candidates must demonstrate six ‘key qualities’ –
This quality assesses your personal integrity, your respect and trust of others, the respect for confidences and also assesses whether or not you have anything in your life which may bring the Magistracy into disrepute. You should also have a willingness to be circumspect in private, during work and also in public life. You will be asked the good character question early on during the selection process, both on the application form and also at the interview. If you fail to demonstrate to the Local Advisory Panel that you are of good character then you will not become a magistrate under any circumstances.
Magistrates need to show an appreciation and acceptance of the rule of law [criminal and civil]. You will also have to have an understanding of the community in which you are serving in and have total respect for people from different backgrounds, religious beliefs, gender etc. During the magistrate first interview you may get asked a question that assesses your knowledge and understanding of your local community. The best way to be able to answer this effectively is to have some previous experience of working within the community.
Naturally, magistrates must have common sense and have the capability of being able to think logically [not falsifying a meeting and the minutes]. On a daily basis you must weigh up the different arguments and reach a balanced decision in association with the other two magistrates on the bench. Your decisions must be without prejudice.
Maturity and Sound Temperament.
It goes without saying that magistrates have to have an ability to relate to and work with others and have respect/regard for their opinions and views. You should also have the qualities of maturity and humanity but also be firm and decisive when required.