Nick Herbert announced yesterday in parliament “The Government will shortly publish plans on ………reinforcing the important role of magistrates” adding that “….[magistrates] are lay people who give of their time, and thecommunity justice that they dispense is an important feature of our criminaljustice system. That is too little acknowledged.”

When asked about the court closures braking the link between magistrate and the local community the Minister said “magistrates are most concerned about isthe growth of out-of-court disposals, which soared under the last Government inresponse to the target culture. We continue to have concerns about theinappropriate use of such disposals.”