JUSTICES OF THE PEACE

These are unpaid magistrates, appointed by the Lord Chancellor; they are men of high character and of prominent position in the county or borough for which they act, but require no legal training, though they may be lawyers on occasion. The Lord Lieutenant is the chief County magistrate, whilst the Mayor is chief Borough magistrate. Their duties are to deal with minor acts of law-breaking and to consider, in the first instance, more serious cases. The latter they pass on to the higher courts to be dealt with there. Justices of the Peace may also meet to try cases at the local Quarter Sessions which are of a more serious character. Here they act with a jury. Justices of the Peace place the letters ‘J.P.’ after their names. See also Stipendiary Magistrates.

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