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Magistrates: Age

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps are taken to ensure that appointments of magistrates avoid discrimination on grounds of age. (325386)

The Lord Chancellor appoints magistrates with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice. They are recruited and selected by 101 local advisory committees. The following steps are designed to avoid all forms of discrimination in that process:

appointment is strictly on merit; eligible candidates are assessed solely against the key qualities required of all magistrates, irrespective of factors such as age

all advisory committee members undertake mandatory training on how to avoid bias or discrimination during the selection process

the selection process has been reviewed by my Department's legal advisers to ensure compliance with applicable anti-discrimination legislation.