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Magistrates

Volume 451: debated on Monday 30 October 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans she has to change the account taken of age in the appointment of magistrates; and what assessment she has made of the implications of the Human Rights Act 2000 for this system. (96177)

There are no plans to change the account taken of age in the appointment of magistrates. The minimum age for a candidate to be considered for appointment by the Lord Chancellor is 18 years and magistrates are required to retire from the bench at 70 years of age by virtue of Section 13 of The Courts Act 2003. The suitability of all eligible candidates is assessed according to the six key qualities as set out in the Lord Chancellor’s directions. The Human Rights Act 2000 has no direct bearing on this system.