Select Committee on Constitution Third Report

Allegations of lack of competence

19.53 Under new training arrangements beginning in the autumn of 1998, training officers will be expected to report to a Bench Training and Development Committee on the achievement of the relevant competencies by magistrates. Where a magistrate fails persistently to reach the required standard so as to call into question his or her capabilities to remain a magistrate, the Bench Training and Development Committee shall instruct the Clerk to the Justices to report the matter to the Advisory Committee. The report will take the form of a letter, with supporting documentation, which will include the appraiser's reports. The role of the Advisory Committee is to satisfy itself that the decision has been reached in a proper manner and that any review procedure has been properly followed and, as necessary, exhausted. The Committee should not concern itself with the substance of the decision which has been taken. Its task, in this context, is to act as the guarantor of due process and to make any formal recommendation for removal to the Lord Chancellor.

19.54 Where, aside from the new training arrangements, an allegation of lack of competence is made by reference to a serious and demonstrable diminution in a magistrate of any of the six key qualities, the complaint should be dealt with in accordance with the Directions from 19.7(c).

[Extract ends]

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