Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Thursday, 14 June 2018


I consider the following announcement earlier today of considerable significance so I`ve stopped packing the sun cream for a minute or two to copy it below. The toady who is appointed will no more be representative of JPs than a pig is representative of farmers.  The person selected will be an arrogant bore seeking another post to justify his/her future CBE. This is just another milestone in the road to the total elimination of JPs from our court system

Expression of Interest: National Leadership Magistrate

We are now inviting expressions of interest for the role of National Leadership Magistrate (NLM).   This is a judicial process being administered by HMCTS.
There is one vacancy, with the successful candidate taking up their position on 1 October 2018.
The closing date for expressions of interest is 6 July 2018
Term length: The NLM will serve a three-year term.
Eligibility: Eligibility criteria and requirements for the role is set out in the attached role description.
Appointments Process
Applicants who would like to express an interest in this role should complete the expressions of interest form and return it to the email address at the top of the application. Forms received after the closing date will not be considered.
Interviews dates are subject to panel members’ availability and will be confirmed with applicants as soon as possible. It is likely however, that they will take place late July/early August.


A reference is required before the sift takes place and will be used to inform decisions throughout the selection process.
Your referee should be someone who is well placed to comment on how you meet the requirements set out in the job description.  They should be able to provide specific examples that demonstrate how your skills match the qualities and abilities for this role.
Your referee will be contacted very soon after receipt of applications so please provide an accurate email address.  The deadline for return of all completed reference forms is noon on 20 July.
Please ensure you provide the name, email address and contact telephone number of your referee.
Please advise your referee that the preferred method of return is via email – hard copy returns will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.
Please check with your referee that they do not have a conflict of interest in this exercise and that they are able and content to support you within the required timescale.  You should not nominate an individual who you know to be a candidate within the exercise as a referee.


All applications will be sifted by a judicial panel, who will consider the information provided in your application form and in the reference.  A decision will be taken on whether your application should progress to interview stage.  You will receive a letter advising you on the outcome of the sift.
No feedback will be available for this stage.


If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to an interview with a judicial panel.  Details of dates and location will be sent with any invitation to attend.
The interview will consist of the panel seeking evidence from you against the qualities and abilities for the post.
You will receive a letter (via email) advising you of the outcome of your interview, should you be invited to attend. It is anticipated that you will be informed of the outcome of your interview early/mid August.
If you are unsuccessful at interview, you can request written feedback.  You should make this request to within four weeks of the date of the letter informing you that you have not been successful.  We will aim to respond to your request within 20 working days.
If you have any queries in relation to the administration of this process, please contact

Role Description

The National Leadership Magistrate (NLM) will be the leadership magistrate for England and Wales and is responsible for leading the development and execution of the judiciary’s long-term strategy for magistrates.  The National Leadership Magistrate will serve a three-year term.
The NLM will liaise directly with the Senior Judiciary, HMCTS and external stakeholders.  The NLM will provide a voice for the magistracy at national level and communicate with bench chairs, magistrates and other stakeholders.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. To lead the Magistrates’ Leadership Executive (MLE).
  2. To promote the efficient and effective operation of magistrates’ courts. Sharing best practice and assisting in the development and implementation of national and regional strategies.
  3. To communicate effectively with the judiciary, HMCTS and other key stakeholders, whilst recognising the need to respect confidentiality, as appropriate.
  4. In conjunction with the Regional Leadership Magistrates, to develop national and regional agendas.
  5. To represent the views of the magistracy at national level.
  6. To provide a positive role model for the magistracy.
  7. Provide effective leadership in a rapidly changing environment;

Person Specification


  1. Be a bench chair or have been a bench chair in the three years preceding the recruitment campaign.
  2. Be eligible to remain a serving magistrate during the full term of office.
  3. Be able to put aside necessary time for the role.
  4. Have an ability to build effective relationships with bench Chairs, other judiciary and agencies, such as HMCTS, Probation, CPS and Advisory Committees.
  5. Be a team player.
  6. Have excellent communication skills.
  7. Understand current issues affecting bench management
  8. Be comfortable with basic aspects of IT (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, eJudiciary) and interpreting magistrates’ court performance data and similar reports.
  9. Have an ability to perform under pressure and support others under pressure.


  1. Experience of other leadership roles within the magistracy or externally.
 This role will require a very significant investment of your time and frequent travel will be necessary.

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