In brief: Selection of magistrates to be revamped

The Government is to issue directions on the appointment of lay magistrates, in a bid to make the magistracy more representative of the communities it serves. Speaking at the Magistrates' Association council meeting last week, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg QC, said his officials were working to produce compulsory criteria directions for selecting magistrates. He said: “I believe it important that any person who shows an interest in becoming a magistrate, in any part of the country, should be judged by common practices and against a common standard.”