The first copied below is part of a speech from Alex Chalk, Conservative MP for Cheltenham on the Grenfell Inquiry. His words should be noted by those who criticise magistrates for not having the intellectual ability to understand complex cases.
"From my experience, just an appeal from a magistrates court in a relatively modest case will involve a judge and two lay assessors. That is why it is critical that the other members of the panel, which includes Mr Justice Moore-Bick, have decision-making power. They cannot simply be there to be thought of as making up the numbers; they must bring their weight of experience from the community and shared understanding. By the way, over many centuries lay people have shown themselves well able to analyse complex issues and do justice. To those people who might suggest we have simply a single judge, it is no answer to say, “Oh, it’s too complicated, too difficult, too technical.” Lay people are capable of understanding—of course they are—as long as matters are properly presented, and I am sure they will be."
The average assumed cost of each type of report is shown in the following table:
|Report type||Assumed average cost per report (£)|
|Data Period||Total number of pre-sentence reports (000s)||Assumed Costs (£m)|
|1 Apr 2015 – 31 Mar 2016||160.4||20.9|
|1 Apr 2016 – 31 Mar 2017||136.7||16.1|