How to Become a Magistrate in 2024

The complete guide to unlocking and passing the magistrate recruitment process.

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How to Become a Magistrate in 2024

The complete guide to becoming a magistrate in 2024.

“The guides and resources were fantastic…interview last week and passed…” – Hilary F. – TrustPilot
How2Become Reviews 5 Star Rating from TrustPilot



The selection process for becoming a magistrate consists of a number of phases including an application form and two sets of tough interviews. This excellent insider’s  download guide has been created by barristers and law professionals and covers every stage of the magistrate application process with sample application form responses and interview questions.

Magistrates are appointed by the Lord Chancellor on behalf of the Crown but he works very closely with the Lord Chief Justice who, as head of the judiciary, has considerable involvement with matters relating to magistrates. The Lord Chancellor, in close liaison with the Lord Chief Justice, operates through local Advisory Committees for these purposes.

These committees and the interview panels they form (which comprise both serving magistrates and members of the general public) will undertake the recruitment, interview and recommendation functions and, in doing so, will work to the Lord Chancellor’s national ‘Directions’.

It is important before you proceed to apply to become a magistrate that you check to see if there are any issues around your eligibility for appointment as governed by these directions.

become a magistrate

There are some absolute bars to appointment as a magistrate

This list is far from exhaustive and may, on occasions, be capable of special adaptation.

You should check with the guidance for applicants and/or your local Advisory Committee if you (or a spouse, partner or close relative) is in any way closely involved with any activity connected with magistrates’ courts which might possibly give rise to a potential conflict of interest.

Although being 65 years or over is not an automatic bar to appointment, in practice the selection and training process can be fairly lengthy and the Lord Chancellor would normally expect at least five years’ service before retirement from the bench occurs at aged 70 years.

There are many other personal factors that may or may not affect the likelihood of your appointment, which the Advisory Committee will need to evaluate.

If you want to learn more about becoming a magistrate then our guide will tell you everything you need to know about becoming a magistrate, including how to pass the selection process.

Reasons Why You Can’t Become a Magistrate:

  • You are under 18 years of age
  • Your health will prevent you from carrying out the duties properly
  • You are seeking asylum or hold a Sector Based Scheme Visa
  • You are an employee of the NSPCC or RSPCA (both of whom regularly bring cases to court)
  • You are aged 70 years or over
    by inference, you will not be appointed if you do not either live or work in England and Wales
  • You are a serving police officer, special constable, prison service employee, traffic warden, probation officer, bailiff, member of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) staff or directly involved in law enforcement

The Magistrate Selection Process

The selection process  will normally consist of the following elements:

eligibility requirement to become a magistrate

Stage 1 – Self-Eligibility Check

We recommend that prior to applying to become a magistrate you should read all of the available documentation regarding the role thoroughly to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria to become a magistrate.

In a section above (Reasons why you can’t become a magistrate) we have listed some reasons why you will not be eligible to become a magistrate in the UK. So, to avoid any disappointment, we believe it is vital you thoroughly research the requirements to join. The list we have provided is in no way exhaustive, so you should speak to the advisory board regarding your personal specific circumstances.

Stage 2 – application form

Once you have completed your research and have ascertained you are eligible to apply to become a magistrate the next stage is to download and fill out the application form. Most of the time, your application for a role will be done by downloading the form from the .gov website. You can download from the following UK Government website.

magistrate application form
magistrate first interview


If you pass the initial application stage you will be invited to the first of two interviews. The first interview will focus on clarifying and discussing areas from your application form and and asking further questions regarding this.

You will be assessed on your knowledge and ability to demonstrate the 6 Key Qualities of a magistrate. You will more than likely be asked a number of questions around criminal justice and your observations from any pre-interview court visits.

Stage 4 – second magistrate interview

Upon successful completion of the first interview, you will be invited to attend a second interview. This interview will include discussion surrounding two separate case studies which you will receive upon arrival at the interview. You will only be given minimal time to read through the cases. During the interview you will be asked questions around a ranking exercise and an individual case exercise. The interview will last around 40 to 50 minutes.

magistrate second interview

How to Become a Magistrate: Commonly Asked Questions

Becoming a magistrate is an unpaid volunteer role. However, many employers will grant time off for their magistrate employees with full pay. By law companies must grant a reasonable amount of time-off for employees who are magistrates. If a magistrate does suffer a loss of earnings they can claim for a loss of earnings at a set standard rate. You are also allowed to claim for travel and other expenses. Magistrates must be able to commit to at least 26 half days per year.

There are a number of reasons which will disqualify you from becoming a magistrate. If you are under 18 years old, you will not be able to apply to become a magistrate. Certain occupations will also prevent you from becoming a magistrate such as a police officer, members of the armed forces to name a couple. There are also other professions or occupations which are excluded. Further information can b e found within this guide and on the .gov website.

Magistrates are not required to have any specific legal knowledge or any qualifications to undertake the role. However, you will be required to undertake three and a half days of training. Once this training is complete you will be allocated a mentor for your first year in court. After a year you will be appraised by specialist magistrates and during your career, you will be required to undertake further ongoing training sessions.

become a magistrate

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What type of character do you think you need to have in order to become a magistrate? You must be honest and possess a high level of integrity. Before you are offered a position as magistrate the assessing panel will ask for references. Each reference that you provide must be capable of vouching for your character.

Magistrates must be able to communicate effectively both in writing and verbally. They must also have a strong ability to understand, read and interpret written documents, and also extract relevant facts that will assist them in dealing with the case in hand.

Having an understanding of society is crucial to the role of a magistrate. You must also understand and have respect for diversity and people from different cultures and social backgrounds. Ask yourself the following question – “Do I understand my local community?”

All magistrates must have a good level of maturity and temperament. They must be capable of working with other people on a professional basis and understand that everybody has a differing opinion. They must have respect for other people and their differences and be able to reach agreed solutions to problems. They must also be assertive when required, decisive and confident, be fair and have respect and courtesy for everyone.

As a magistrate you must be capable of making sound judgements that are not based on your own personal feelings, prejudices or biased opinions. For example, if you have personally been the victim of burglary or theft previously, how would you feel if an offender was in front of you for a similar offence? Would you be inclined to pass down a tougher sentence, simply because you have been a victim before?

Because magistrates are not paid a salary the role requires a high level of commitment and motivation. You need to be motivated for different reasons other than financial gain. A commitment to serve the community is obviously a must and you will be assessed against this desire during the selection process. If you have already worked within the community previously then this can work in your favour. Any form of voluntary work will demonstrate to the assessors that you are committed and motivated by other reasons than financial reward.


Both in the application form and at both interviews you will also be asked what used to be called the ‘Key Question’ but is now known as the ‘Good Character and Background Question’:Is there anything in your private or working life or in your past, or to your knowledge in that of any member of your family or close friends, which, if it became generally known, might bring you or the magistracy into disrepute, or call into question your integrity, authority or standing as a magistrate?Consider how you will answer the ‘Good Character and Background Question’ (you might end up answering it on three separate occasions).It’s far better to be informed at the outset as there probably is nothing to worry about rather than to fail to mention an issue and then later for you to say that you thought that it was not relevant.This may be viewed as evidence of poor judgement or a lack of integrity rather than openness and honesty. Knowing what is and is not relevant in any given situation is part and parcel of being a magistrate.


become a magistrate

We guarantee that our How To Become a Magistrate online resources will teach you how to navigate the different elements of the selection process. The package contains 100+ pages of recruitment insider tips, practice tests, and proven strategies which will guide you through each element of selection, including the application form, the interviews and how to understand the 6 key qualities.

Start Preparing Now 👉


become a magistrate

We guarantee that our How To Become a Magistrate online resources will teach you how to navigate the different elements of the selection process successfully. The package contains 120+ pages of recruitment insider tips and proven strategies which will guide you through each stage of selection, including the application form, the online tests, the interviews, and more.

Start Preparing Now 👉



  • What you need to know before you apply to become a magistrate
  • The essential qualities and attributes that are required to perform the role competently
  • How to study the role effectively and apply your skills to the selection process
  • Where to apply including application form details
  • The top INSIDER TIPS AND ADVICE brought to you from serving magistrates
  • What the selection process involves
  • Courtroom procedure
  • The process of sentencing


  • Where to obtain the application form and how to apply
  • Detailed information on what the assessors are looking for in successful applications
  • Sample successful responses to the application form
  • Using keywords and phrases that match the qualities required to become a magistrate
  • Insider tips on how to ensure your application gets through
  • The common mistakes that you MUST avoid if you are to be successful


  • Actual sample interview questions
  • Detailed explanation on what the Local Advisory Committee are looking for
  • Sample successful responses to the interview questions
  • How you will be assessed during the first and second interviews
  • Insider tips on how to pass the interviews
  • How to ensure SUCCESS and create the right impression

Pass the Magistrate Selection Process. First Time.

Crafted for everyone, no matter your skill level or background, this guide was made to help you achieve one goal: become a magistrate.


How to Become a Police Officer Guide Features

Pass the Magistrate Selection Process. First Time.

Crafted for everyone, no matter your skill level or background, this guide was made to help you achieve one goal: become a magistrate.

Customer Success Stories

Having helped 1,000s of aspiring magistrates for over 16 years, it is no wonder our customers love us…

Excellent Training, It really helped me boost my confidence in the interview.. Thank you. – AH. – TrustPilot


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The guides and resources were fantastic… interview last week and passed… – Hilary. F. – TrustPilot

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Complete guidance to ensure you pass the ENTIRE recruitment process

Insider advice on how to complete the application form, including sample questions and answers

Previously successful application form responses that you can use to develop your own winning application!

Discover exactly how you are assessed throughout the entire selection process (hint: understanding this will allow you to know exactly how the assessors want you to act at every stage)

Sample magistrate motivation-based interview questions and guidance on how to answer each one of them

What are competency-based questions, how to structure your responses, what keywords you MUST use, and how to impress when answering each question

A full breakdown of the 6 key qualitiesand cutting out the filler so you can memorise only what you NEED to know, making preparation a lot easier!

Practice questions and answers for the second interview

magistrate eligibility criteria

The importance of ensuring you meet the minimum eligibility requirements (and understanding the role of a magistrate



150-Page Interview Skills Insider’s Guide

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Interview Skilss | Sample Interview Questions and Answers Guide How2Become
  • All of the most common (and not so common) interview questions you are likely to face broken down.
  • Full and detailed answers to every question – ensure you always have the perfect answer!
  • How to use the STAR method to come up with your own winning answers that match the experience, values, and skills the interview assessor is looking for.
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As well as lifetime access to the magistrate career resource, this product also includes a 30-day free trial to our Online Magistrate Video Training Platform (usually £9.99+vat per month).

Recruit Assessment Centre for police constables online practice
  • Pass the first Magistrate Interview Modules to help you prepare for the first magistrate interview
  • The 6 key qualities explained and how you can use these in your interview responses
  • Instant online access. Compatible on mobiles, tablets and computers.

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Magistrate Interview Questions & Answers Workbook (Lifetime access)

How to Complete Job Application Forms Workbook (Lifetime access)

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You don’t just get advice on what to do. We will show you exactly how to pass the magistrate recruitment process.

magistrate resources

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Our guide in a compact, accessible, online format to hold your hand throughout the entire magistrate selection process.

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Frequently asked questions

Simply put, this training works and is proven to help people like you to successfully become a magistrate. As a lifetime access member, you will not only benefit from our flagship 100-page guide, but you’ll also get access to a dynamic portal of content that we update frequently with all the very latest information, practice material, and strategies that are helping people across the UK become magistrates. With 1,000s of customers frequently thanking us for the career success we have helped them gain, and 16 years’ experience in providing recruitment and assessment centre training, you can rest assured knowing you are getting the best recruitment training material on the market.

This resource is designed to help anyone looking to become a magistrate and conquer the gruelling selection process.

It is ideal for those just staring out at the application stage, who want an “over-the-shoulder” guide to passing each stage of the process.

If you have already begun the selection process, then you’ll be able to pick up this guide from the exact stage you are at and follow the step-by-step guidance to passing the application form, interviews, and more with winning confidence.

Whatever stage of the process you are at, you can be confident you’ll have all the strategies and tools you need to succeed.

Yes! With the ‘How to Become a Magistrate’ guide you will be able to access training that has been helping students successfully pass the selection process for over a decade.

At we like to do things a little differently. Instead of just giving you access to guides which explain how the selection process works, and what you need to do to pass, we teach you HOW to do it also. For example, we don’t just provide you with sample interview questions, we provide winning sample responses and step by step guidance on how to create your own successful answers. Whether you are thinking about applying, or you are half way through the selection process, this guide ‘hold your hand’ step-by-step. Here is a full list of everything you will get within this resource.

You will get unlimited access to all of the content contained within this resource with no time restrictions! We understand that applying for roles can be a long and stressful experience, that is why we want to take away one less worry – you will get access whenever you need, whether its just for a week, or for a year, you will have full access to the ‘How to Become a Magistrate’ guide whenever you need it. You will also access to all future updates we make to this guide, ensuring you are getting the latest guidance.

When we launched we wanted to ensure our content would help as many people as possible no matter where they are, and we are achieving just that! We sell our resources to every country in the world, with 1000s of customers in the USA, UK, India, Australia, Africa and more! All of our content is either written or spoken in English, with the content designed to be as universal as possible unless otherwise stated. Our guide is designed specifically for the UK magistrate selection process. If you can’t see a guide you need in our huge catalogue, then just let us know and we will help if we can!

As soon as your order is complete you will be able to access all of the guides, training resources, and view the on-demand video via your How2Become account! You can use any smart phone, PC, Mac, or tablet to access your materials.

Yes, absolutely! We get 100s of testimonials and comments each month from those that have used our training thanking us for the help it has given them.

Having been creating recruitment guides for the last 16 years, we know how often selection processes change. In addition, with the vast array of role available with the offshore industry. That is why we keep close ties to those in the know and we regularly update our content. You will get the latest and best strategies to enable you to become successful in your application to become a magistrate.





Firstly, these guides are created by us and our team of experts – we have all the answers to your questions and will help you succeed (like we’ve been doing for the last 16 years), we update our material frequently and you can contact us at any time with any questions you have.

Secondly, we provide exclusive bonuses with all our products that you won’t find anywhere else. These bonuses include free guides, powerful online testing suites and more!

Finally, our guides and training just work. Take a look at our TrustPilot page where you will see our rating of 4.9/5. There, our customers share their positive buying experiences and more importantly the time-saving success our resources have given them.

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