On being a Magistrate

This isn’t my first blog, you know. It’s my fourth. Two are still alive: this one and our family one, which doesn’t get updated much despite all the amazing changes we’re seeing in our son now he’s reached the grand old age of two.

One of the now extinct blogs was set up to record my experience as a newly appointed magistrate in 2004. It didn’t last long; I was trying to write a little about the sort of cases we deal with by using examples I’d seen, but found it really hard to suitably disguise the details sufficiently. The blog was inspired by The Magistrate’s Blog, written by Bystander. He’s a very experienced magistrate who writes well and provokes a lot of discussion on his posts; many of his regular commenters are involved with criminal justice in some way and  have very different views, which makes things lively at times. 

As my own blog (I called it “The Young JP”, in case you’re wondering) never got off the ground, when people want to know about what it’s like to be a magistrate, and exactly what it  is we get up too, Bystander’s blog is one of the places I send them. I’ve also recently discovered a new magistrate’s blog which is making good reading: Radio Free Stan. Stan was appointed as a magistrate only last year, so brings a fresh perspective on things.  And if you want the official view on what we do, check out the relevant pages on direct.gov, which also has details on how to apply.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the other extinct blog: that’s a secret…


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