To become a judge you must be legally qualified and must have previous experience in the courts.

To become a lawyer you only need to be legally qualified and qualified to appear in the courts. No experience is needed.

Juries don't need any qualifications – they are selected at random and it is seen as a public duty. This is the public's way of helping out in the legal system.

Magistrates are not qualified either but they do receive some training especially in the first three years after their appointment.

The role of the judge is to preside over the trial. He or she does this by making sure all parties follow procedures and rules. This is very important to the trial. This ensures that no party is treated unfairly.

The role of the lawyer is to prepare a case for their clients. The lawyer is there to act as an advocate (legal representative). The lawyer will assess the strength of the evidence when putting the case together. An important role of the lawyer is to advise their client on the chances of success.

Members of the jury listen to the evidence that they have heard or seen. Their role is not only important as it represents a 'trial by ones peers', but can be difficult due to the amount of evidence or its nature such as forensic evidence.

The role of the Magistrates is to adjudicate in the case of a summary trial. Magistrates are expected to have a range of skills and qualities which enable them to effectively deal with criminal cases.

Judges must act impartially and without bias. Judges are appointed to a case in view of their qualification and experience which will help them deal with the case.

Lawyers come about when they are appointed by a client. Lawyers must also act responsibly towards the court. Their role means that they present their client's case and argue points of law and question witnesses.

Juries are there to decide on the question of whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. The burden of proof in criminal cases is 'beyond all reasonable doubt' – in other words 'can they be sure'. In civil cases the burden of proof is 'on the balance of probabilities' which is lower.

97% of criminal cases are dealt with by  Magistrates' Courts. The remaining more serious cases are sent to the Crown Court.

Judges have the responsibility to direct and help the jury as to what the law is. The judge will also sum up the evidence for the jury towards the end of the trial.

Lawyers also make opening and closing speeches about their client's case. Defence lawyers will advise their clients about their rights of appeal.

Juries are not allowed to divulge information about their deliberations in the jury room. 

Lay Magistrates can be involved with appeals to the Crown court when they sit with a judge.

Judges also have the responsibility of releasing the jury when their job is done.

Lawyers do not hold any responsibility for the jury but have to ensure that they can follow the evidence.

May be excused from jury service in the future by the judge.

Magistrates don't work with a jury. Magistrates decide the case themselves. Magistrates are helped by a legal adviser as to the law.

Judges receive a salary.

Lawyers are often self-employed (work for themselves) and are paid according to the amount of work they do.  They will be paid on a case basis.

Jurors receive expenses only.  They are not paid as such.

Lay Magistrates are unpaid volunteers.  Magistrates receive expenses.

One criticism of judges is that they come from an elitist background.

Solicitors and Barristers come from a wider background, there are criticisms that Barristers also tend to come from an elitist background.

Juries are selected at random from the Electoral Roll so this tends to negate any problems over background.

Magistrates are more involved with the community but there can be criticisms that they are 'middle aged, middle class and middle minded'.

There are gender and ethnicity issues meaning that there are not enough female judges or representatives of ethnic minorities in the judiciary.

The question of equality and diversity is more balanced but there are still issues with females lawyers not being seen in certain roles e.g. not enough applications from women to become Queen's Counsel . Women may feel that they have to work harder than men to get recognised.

There do not appear to be gender and ethnicity issues for the jury as they are chosen randomly and their selection is a matter of chance.

There is more balance over gender and ethnicity. This may be because these issues have been addressed locally and lower down the judiciary and court hierarchy it may be easier to acquire a place at this level.

(for latest figures) Equalities minister: ‘A judiciary for our times needs more women and minorities.'

Magistrates statistics on gender, age, ethnicity and disability 2012 (Excel 34kb

Training to be a barrister | Law | The Guardian

Juries? It's time they went the way of the ducking stool | Simon

Barristers | Law | The Guardian

Trio of judicial appointments to the Supreme Court - The Supreme ..




Related Items

The items below list this Article as being related in some way.


There are no related tags.

Amazon's recommended Books

RSS Feeds


Recent Posts

The latest posts from the lawmentor.co.uk blog archives.

Caparo three part test – revisited

In Robinson the Supreme Court laid to rest the proposition that there is a Caparo test which applies to all claims in the modern law of negligence.

Statutory interpretation - penal legislation is construed strictly

The Supreme Court reminded everyone per Lord Reed and Lord Hughes that 'Penal legislation is construed strictly, particularly where the penalty involves deprivation of liberty'.

Court of appeal gives judgment acknowledging unmarried woman's rights

The claim related to bereavement payments under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 as amended.

European union law – in the case of conflict between national law and european law

Walker (Appellant) v Innospec Limited and others (Respondents) [2017] UKSC 47 On appeal from [2015] EWCA Civ 1000

Vicarious liability is alive and well

This decision extends the doctrine of vicarious liability in respect of foster carers for the fist time and it represents another example of the potential for the expansion of this form of liability.

Supreme court busy - make sure you are geared up for your course

The Supreme Court has been especially busy lately.

Gina miller v secretary of state for exiting the eu 2016 as an example of the importance of judicial independence

Law students are now required to take note of how the independence and work of the judiciary has been reformed

Policing and crime bill and provisions for bail after arrest but before charge

The clear intention is that decisions on pre-charge bail should come under scrutiny.