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Moon phases

A tale of three Magis

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A tale of three Magis

Post by El E Mentary on Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:35 am

Allow me to paint you a picture, here is a tale of three magistrates belonging to the Ministry of Justice, they sit on a bench towering above the gallery below passing their jugements on poor ol' Erbert Toerag who stands in the dock below. Above the magistrates a lion and a unicorn look out over the auditorium, nestled between these beasts are the words Dieu et mon droit and Honi soit qui mal y pense. (funny that it is in le Francaise, but that is another story). All of a sudden as if by a puff of magic the venue changes and yet nothing changes. The magistrates are still sitting in the same place, wearing the same clothes. The lion and the unicorn haven't swapped places, they stand in their same fixed positions. Is this the workings of the ministry of magic who knows?

What does it take to be a magistrate, according to the

Magistrates are ordinary men and women who volunteer to sit in court

Magistrates (also called Justices of the Peace) are unpaid volunteers and come from a wide range of backgrounds and occupations – from bus drivers to architects, pilots to mechanics, nursery nurses to retired people, unemployed to teachers. They are ordinary men and women with common sense and personal integrity. They are able to listen to all sides of an argument and can contribute to fair and reasonable decisions. You do not have to have any legal qualification.

Magistrates sit as one of a bench of three, including one who sits in the centre who has been trained to take the chair. They deal with a range of criminal cases such as minor theft, criminal damage, public disorder and motoring offences. Our members also sit in youth and family courts.
Ten quick facts about magistrates

   Magistrates can be appointed from the age of 18 but have to retire at 70
   Magistrates are also called Justices of the Peace and are allowed to use the suffix JP after the name (there are some occasions when this is not appropriate eg candidates in elections, business purposes to gain advantage)
   Magistrates are not paid but may claim expenses
   Magistrates are not legally qualified but are carefully and continually trained and have the benefit of a legal adviser in court
   Magistrates use sentencing guidelines and case law to assist them to reach decisions about sentencing
   Magistrates can choose to sit at the magistrates’ court near to their home or their work
   There is approximately the same number of male and female magistrates
   All magistrates take the judicial oath when they are sworn in: I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second, in the office of Justice of the Peace and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of the realm without fear or favour, affection or ill-will
   Once appointed magistrates are allocated a mentor for the first two years who will help and support them
   Magistrates can be removed from the bench if it is found that their behaviour is not that expected of a magistrate

No formal qualifications are required but magistrates need intelligence, common sense, integrity and the capacity to act fairly.

In a court of the Ministry of Justice, Magistrates are unpaid volunteers but they may receive allowances to cover travelling expenses and subsistence.

So what about a court of the ministry of magic, using PMC as an example which is a local authority's own business, Do these magistrates get a commission or a cut from the takings? Seems a reasonable question to ask as an ordinary man if one is looking at applying to fulfill that role in service to the community. And yet when this question was asked it was met with stony silence to the point that one thought there was some malfunction in the telecommunications instrument we were speaking through at the time. Makes you wonder eh.

El E Mentary
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