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Volume 130: debated on Monday 21 March 1988

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To ask the Attorney-General what is the total number of magistrates in England and Wales; and how many are (a) members of ethnic minorities and (b) women.

At January 1988 there were 27,846 active lay magistrates, of whom 11,934 were women. There are currently 48 metropolitan stipendiary magistrates of whom eight are women and 14 provincial stipendiary magistrates, of whom none are women.No records are kept of the racial origins of magistrates, but surveys conducted last year revealed that 528 lay magistrates were members of an ethnic minority.