It is the result of a recruitment drive earlier this year which saw 20 people from across Merseyside appointed as new judges to the Adult Criminal Court.
The Cheshire & Merseyside Advisory Committee is looking for new judges and prosecutors for courts across the region.
Volunteers aged between 18 and 65 years sit for 13 days each year and receive regular training.
It is now looking for additional judges to be recruited directly from the Family Court in Vernon St., Liverpool, as well as the adult criminal courts in Sefton, Birkenhead and the QE II courts in Derby Square.
They are now completing their training and will be sworn in as Official Justice of the Peace (JPs) early next year.
The new college is made up of a mix of people of different backgrounds, ages and experience, all of whom have agreed to volunteer their time and talents to serve their local communities.
Every criminal case begins in the Magistrates’ Court, and while more serious cases are referred to the Crown Courts, the Magistrates can impose penalties such as fines or unpaid community work, and even send criminals to prison for up to 12 months.
Judges and prosecutors play an important role in the judicial system. They are a diverse team of volunteers who bring life experience and a vital community perspective to the courtroom.
Many judges and prosecutors want to give something back through their volunteer work, and there are few such opportunities that can have such a profound impact on people’s lives.
In family courts, judges and prosecutors make life-changing decisions for the benefit of the children.
Typical cases include traffic offences, theft, alcohol and drug offences and assaults.
They can help separated parents make visitation arrangements, enforce child support orders and make decisions to prevent domestic abuse.
Judges and prosecutors receive regular training, usually sit in groups of three with an experienced chairperson, and seek advice from a qualified legal counsel to ensure that the proper legal procedures are followed at all times.
This honorary role involves a great deal of responsibility, although there is always support.
Almost anyone between the ages of 18 and 65 can apply to be a judge – background, ethnicity, education and employment are not important. However, they must be aware of social issues, have good judgment and be of good character.
Many of the current judges and prosecutors are employed and able to bring a number of valuable skills to the workplace, such as the ability to analyze evidence, conflict resolution and teamwork. By law, employers must give you time off work to be able to work as a judge or prosecutor.
Judges and prosecutors are expected to sit for at least 13 days, which can be divided into 26 half days, with an additional day for training each year.
Applications for the Merseyside Family and Adult Criminal Courts will be accepted until 30 November 2020.
Learn more and apply here.
Many provide paid leave, but if you lose, you may be eligible for a grant. All judges and prosecutors, whether employed or not, can apply for a travel and accommodation allowance. ..