In brief: Partnership proposal for stipendiaries

Stipendiary magistrates should work in partnership with lay magistrates by having regular meetings with them and moving from courtroom to courtroom, a working party is recommending. The working party was set up by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice following a recommendation by the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice that there should be a more systematic approach to the role of stipendiaries. It also recommends that magistrates should undertake several areas of work, including cases with complex points of law, novel points arising from new legislation and public interest immunity applications. Members of the working party included chair Roger Venne, of the Lord Chancellor's Department, Rosemary Thomson, chair of the Magistrates Association and Laurence Cramp, honorary secretary of the Justices Clerks Society.