Thursday, 16 August 2018

Judicial diversity

Former Magistrates' Court - Kendal
The Judiciary has published Judicial Diversity Statistics 2018 setting out the position as at 1 April 2018.

The data for Magistrates is particularly striking.

We see a loss of 10,122 magistrates since 2012 and, of the 15,003 remaining the data notes that 55% are over 60 - i.e. 8,252.   If the retirement age remains 70, that 55% will all have left the magistracy by 2028.

Interestingly, closures of Magistrates' Courts is not mentioned as a reason for loss of numbers even though many courts have been closed since 2010 - see this written answer 5 January 2016 - and closures have taken place subsequently - e.g. Kendal (pictured) in 2017.

The New Statesman noted the closures on 27 June 2018 -  Crumbling Britain: The quiet decline of English courts .

The number of District Judges (Magistrates' Courts) stood at 145 on 19th April 2018 - HERE.

It is generally argued that the court closures are justifiable on grounds of saving money whilst improving efficiency.  Local justice was something we valued at one time but it is now being allowed to wither on the vine.

Further court closures are planned - The Independent 24 July 2018.


  1. I have recently been added as part of that 4% under 40. The age crisis that is continuing to get ever closer to the front needs to be actively addressed, it seems like it's the elephant in the room - unless. of course, there will be no courts left by 2028.

  2. A point which the Ministry seems not to have grasped is the skew in age related / service related skill sets/authorisations. A higher than average proportion of those magistrates due to retire on age grounds will have competencies based on service length and experience: Single Justice Procedure, Crown Court Appeals, Chairing. Probably too serving on Family and Youth. So simply looking to replace a nominal hundred magistrates retiring in the next year will be insufficient to bring in one hundred new magistrates. Where are the magistrates for Single Justice Procedure, Crown Court Appeals, Chairing, Family and Youth? Also note that some approaching 70 will NOT serve to day 364 of their last year but will retire early on health grounds. Probably a higher proportion than younger magistrates. Ministry should have those figures and relative proportions. Should have ...