Magistrates set to get two-year skills review

BRITAIN'S 30,000 magistrates are to have their legal skills examined in a two-year review by a training supremo appointed by the Lord Chancellor last week.

Michael Wooley has been selected to replace the retiring Geoffrey Norman as magistrates' training adviser at the Lord Chancellor's Department.

A spokesman says that the brief for the job has been widened to allow Wooley to

assess where justices' expertise needed to be improved.

“There is nothing which is causing undue concern,” the spokesman says. “He is just assessing needs of magistrates with a view to what they need to be changing over the next few years.”

Wooley is organising tutor for magistrates' training at the University of Birmingham, and has been vice-chair of Hereford and Worcester Magistrates' Courts Committee for the last two years.

The appointment, on a two-year contract beginning on 19 June will also include responsibility for training policy, standards and maintaining training records.