High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court
High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court
  • The Law Courts, Easton St, High Wycombe
    HP11 1LR
Magistrates’ courts are an important part of the justice system in England and Wales and have a history that can be traced back over 600 years. Magistrates’ courts handle 95% of court cases in England and deal with trials mainly of a criminal nature. Cases heard in magistrates’ courts are dealt with in two ways. Either by: magistrates (or justices of the peace) district judges Magistrates usually sit in a panel of three, accompanied by a legally-qualified court clerk. Collectively they are known as a bench. These individuals are usually assigned to local justice areas; however they all follow the Magistrates’ Court Act 2003. The magistrates on a bench are unpaid, although they do receive some funding for expenses (due to loss of earnings or travel). The magistrate members of the bench are not usually legally qualified, which is why they have a legally-qualified court clerk to assist them. There are approximately 30,000 magistrates within England and Wales. District judges must have at least two years’ experience as a deputy district judge, along with seven years’ experience as a solicitor or/and barrister. The district judges deal with complex areas of law and sit on their own, as opposed to within a panel.
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