Stipes come under scrutiny

A NEW working party has been set up by the Lord Chancellor to examine the role of the stipendiary magistracy.

The party has been established after a recommendation from the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice, which said there should be a more systematic approach to the role of stipendiary magistrates.

The Magistrates' Association also proposed the development of practice guidelines for lay bench chairmen working with stipendiary magistrates.

The working party includes chief Metropolitan Magistrate Peter Badge, chair of the Magistrates' Association Rosemary Thomson, and others.