THE search is on for more magistrates to sit on the Shropshire bench in the Adult Criminal Court and Family Court.

Staffordshire and West Mercia Advisory Committee is on the hunt for new magistrates between the ages of 18 and 65 – particularly from black and minority ethnic communities, people under the age of 50, in paid employment, or people with a disability who are able – either unassisted or with the benefit of reasonable adjustments – to carry out the full range of magistrates' duties.

The positions to be based in Telford are voluntary with no prior formal qualifications or legal training needed.

Magistrates are not paid, although some allowances can be claimed, and those who are successful in being appointed must be able to attend training and sit in court for at least 13 days a year – this is a minimum requirement.

The closing date for applications to the family courts is July 31 with interviews being held in August and September of this year.

Prospective magistrates will not be able to undertake observations in the Family Court; instead they will be required to familiarise themselves with publicly available information about the family court to ensure that the role is right for them.

Applications for adult criminal courts open on September 1, 2019 with interviews being held later in the year.

Prior to submitting an application at least three observation visits must be made to a magistrates court where magistrates rather than a district judge are sitting – each visit being for a minimum of half a day.

If you are interested in being considered for appointment and want to find out more about the work of a magistrate and how to apply visit: or contact the chairman of the Shropshire Bench, Russell Thomas on 07940 410747.