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Lay Magistrates (Northern Ireland)

Volume 406: debated on Friday 23 May 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor"s Department how many people have (a) applied and (b) been appointed as lay magistrates in Northern Ireland since 2001. [114034]

The new office of lay magistrate will not be established until September 2004 and applications for appointment will be sought following a publicity campaign which will commence later this year.

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor"s Department whether people with criminal records are eligible for appointment as lay magistrates in Northern Ireland. [114035]

A draft Lay Magistrate Eligibility (Northern Ireland) Order will be laid before both Houses of Parliament later this year which will specify that no person shall be appointed to be a lay magistrate if he has been convicted of an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one month.