Royal Commission On Justices of the Peace

Date01 November 1946
DOI10.1177/026455054600500604
Published date01 November 1946
Subject MatterArticles
76
ROYAL
COMMISSION
ON
JUSTICES
OF
THE
PEACE
GENERAL
We
agree
with
the
system
of
local
Selection
Committees
whose
recommendations
should
go
forward
to
the
Lord
Chancellor’s
Committee
for
consideration.
Such
local
Committees
should
be
open,
not
secret,
and
should
include
members
of
appropriate
representative
bodies.
The
main
qualifications
for
membership
of
these
Committees
should
be
knowledge
of
the
duties
of
a
magistrate,
not
the
holding
of
a
particular
political
opinion.
In
view
of
a
suggestion
which
has
been
publicised,
we
would
express
our
view
that
probation
officers
should
not
be
members
of
these
Committees.
~ualifications
of
Justices.
Justices
of
the
Peace
should
be
required,
after
appointment,
but
before
they
sit,
to
attend
a
course
of
instruction
laid
down
by
a
competent
authority.
Age.
All
magistrates
should
be
required
to
retire
at
not
later
than
70
years
of
age.
JUVENILE
COUIt,’~
PANELS
The
National
Association
of
Probation
Officers
strongly
endorses
the
views
expressed
in
the
Secretary
of
State’s
Circular
No.
168/1946:
&dquo;The
Secretary
of
State
would
stress
the
importance
of
the
work
of
Juvenile
Courts
at
the
present
time,
and
would
point
out
that
the
Justices
are
required
by
statute
to
appoint
to
the
Juvenile
Court
panel
those
men
and
women
from
among
their
number
who
are
.
specially qualified
for
dealing
with
juvenile
cases.
The
kind
of
men
and
women
who
can
best
carry
out
the
special
duties
of
Juvenile
Court
Justices
are
those
who
have
knowledge
and
sympathetic
understanding
of
young
people,
their
needs
and
circumstances,
and
have
had
recent
experience
in
dealing
with
them,
through
youth
organisations
or
welfare
or
similar
work.
While
the
rules
made
under
the
statute
do
not
fix
any
limit
of
age,
the
Juvenile
Court
needs
the
assistance
of
the
younger
members
of
the
Bench,
especially
those
who
have
young
children
of
their
own
or
who
are
in
other
ways
in
close
touch
with
young
people
and
are
there-
fore
more
likely
to
be
able
to
appreciate
their
circumstances.
&dquo;In
making
new
appointments
to
the
Commission of
the
Peace,
the
Lord
Chancellor
has
given
special
attention
to
the
needs
of
the
Juvenile
Court,
and
it
is
understood
that
in
many
divisions
young
men
and
women
are
now
available ...
Mr.
Ede
would
like
also
to
stress
the
advantage
of
appointing
one
of
the
Justices
to
act
regularly
as
Chairman
of
the
Juvenile
Court.
Such
a
system
tends
to
secure
continuity
of
method
and
treatment,
and
experience
shows
that
where
a
good
chairman
can
be
found,
the
work
of
the
Juvenile
Court
gains
greatly
in
efficiency.&dquo;
In
view
of
its
particular
relation
to
the
work
of
the
Juvenile
Courts,
this
Association
desires
to
express
its
views
on
certain
snecific
points:
Selection
of
Justices.
We
feel
that
Justices
for
the
Juvenile
Panel
should
be
chosen
with
great
care
from
the
general
panel
of
magistrates,
because
of
special
ex-
perience
and
qualifications.
The
Lord
Chancellor’s
MEMORANDUM
submitted
to
the
Royal
Commission
on
Justices
of
the
Peace
Department,
when
making
a
new
appointment
of
Justices,
should
suggest
to
the Clerks
of
the
Peace
those
people
who
appear
to
be
suitable
for
election
to
the
Juvenile
Panels.
We
feel
it
is
dangerous
to
select
members
of
the
teaching
profession
to
serve
on
Juvenile
Court
Panels
merely
because
they
are
teachers.
They
should
be
appointed
because
of
their
other
qualifications.
Age.
The
question
of
age
must
have
due
consideration
not
only
in
the
selection
of
Juvenile
Court
magistrates,
but
in
determining
when
the
effects
of
age
and
conse-
quent
impairment
of
faculties
would
suggest
retirement
from
the
Bench.
Having
this
in
view,
it
might
be
possible
to
fix
a
maximum
age
for
retirement.
Preparation.
Our
experience
of
the
appreciation
shown
by
magistrates
when
probation
officers
have
helped
to
enable
them
to
visit
Homes,
approved
schools,
etc.,
strengthens
us
in
the
suggestion
that
members
of
Juvenile
Panels
should
receive
adequate
preparation
for
their
work
by
the
granting
of
instruction
on
the
various
social
services
of
the
Juvenile
Court,
i.e.,
remand
homes,
approved
schools,
the
Probation
Service,
homes
and
hostels,
etc.,
and
they
should
constantly
add
to
their
knowledge
by
recourse
to
the
literature
published
on
the
subj ect.
Chairman.
The~re
should
be
a
permanent
Chairman
of
the
Juvenile
Panel.
Women
Members
of
the
Panel.
It
is
important
that
more
women
should
be
appointed
to
the
Juvenile
Panel,
in
order
that
one
woman
should
sit
.at
each
Juvenile
Court.
Evening
Courts.
In
cases
where
the
most
suitable
Justices
would
not
be
available
for
service
during
the
daytime,
consideration
should
be
given
to
the
holding
of
Juvenile
Courts
during
the
evening.
Stipendiary
Magistrates.
Where
stipendiary
magistrates
are
already
appointed,
they
should
be
encouraged to
sit
on
the
Juvenile
Courts
in
the
area,
though
not
necessarily
acting
as
Chairman.
MATRIMONIAL
COURT
We
feel
that
special
panels
of
Justices
for
matrimonial
work
are
desirable.
Selection
of
Magistrates.
We
feel
that
these
special
panels
should
be
selected
from
the
general
panel.
They
should
consist
of
groups
of
magistrates
fitted
by
active
sympathy
and
experience
in
dealing
with
family
affairs
and
willing
to
acquire
a
working
knowledge
of
the
appropriate
statutes
and
Court
procedure.
Women
Members
of
the
Pane-1.
Here
again we
suggest
that
one
woman
Justice
should
sit
at
each
Matrimonial
Court.
,
Conciliation.
We
deprecate
any
attempt
by
members
of
the
Court
themselves
to
engage
in
the
work
of
conciliation.
PRELIMINARY
NOTICE
The
Mid-Southern
Branch
are
holding
a
week-end
school
at
Southbourne,
Bournemouth,
on
April
18-20,
1947.
Full
details
will
be
available
in
the
next
issue.

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