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Magistrates: Training

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what guidance and training is given to magistrates and magistrates’ clerks on the use of their powers under section 6 of the Immigration Act 1971. (125928)

A justices’ clerk or legal adviser advises magistrates in all cases in which an application under section 6 of the Immigration Act 1971 is made. As qualified barristers or solicitors, they are fully trained and experienced in the research of legal issues. In giving advice, justices’ clerks and legal advisers have access to the statutory provisions and commentary on it, as well as Home Office circulars giving guidance. Because of the relative infrequency of such applications, however, there is no specific national training for legal advisers or magistrates on the topic, although some courts may provide specific local training.