There are benefits to both yourself and your employer when you become a magistrate, and it is something you’d be advised to highlight in your interview for future employment. Your duties as a magistrate will go unpaid, as it’s a voluntary role, for which anyone can apply for the training.
You just need to have the heart to serve your community, making it better neighbourhood for local residents. Cases will be smaller crimes, but you will have to take the responsibilities seriously, in determining the weight of judicial punishment to the people who stand before you.
That will be determining whether a custodial sentence of up to six months imprisonment is adequate to fit the crime committed, or if it’s of a more serious nature, you’ll be tasked with the responsibility to pass the case over the Crown Prosecution Service. That’s a major responsibility on anyones shoulders, but thankfully, you’ll be on a panel of three, with a legal advisor on hand as well, to assist on the legal entities surrounding the case.
The role you play will be to discuss things as a team, with colleagues on the panel, which will include a chief magistrate, deciding the overall punishment. You’ll be there to assist with spotting any discrepancies, and establishing clearly, what the crime was, so you can all work together for the best course of action to take.
That’s going to need teamwork, and that’s something employers need their staff to excel at.
Small businesses in particular, need their staff to have competence to contribute to the success of their business. Managers will be out of the office, attending meetings, arranging contracts and other managerial activities.
In their absence, perhaps when their unavailable to contact during a meeting or presentation, knowing that they have someone in the office with leadership qualities will be a blessing to them. How will you have leadership qualities? Through your ongoing training, and the work you do when you serve on the judiciary panel as a magistrate. You’ll gain the confidence in you, which will transfer over to your decision making abilities, assisting you to deliver a higher calibre of service to your employer.
Things such as your note taking, ability to analyse discrepancies as well as get your voice heard with your colleagues on the panel, will raise your self-confidence into your own full-time job, helping you communicate better with your colleagues. Not to mention the respect you’ll have gained just by being a magistrate, stepping up to the plate, and acting in the best interest of the local community.
Small businesses in any line of work are always on the lookout for ways to participate in the local community. They operate in the area, pay their taxes due for the services provided within the area, and they won’t want to see crime deteriorating their neighbourhood, devaluing their business perhaps.
Business owners are part of the community, whether they live there or not, and it’s in their best interest to act on behalf of the community they’re doing business within. By employing a magistrate and contributing the time off for you to carry out your duties, they’ll be playing a key part in the justice system too. For that fact alone, there are some employers willing to provide paid leave to magistrates, so they can carry out their civil duties, but either way, you still get paid, even if they don’t choose to cover your wages.
Whilst the work is voluntary, the magistrate courts don’t want to be absorbing the finances of local businesses. You can claim your loss of earnings, travel expenses and lunch, which deflects the financial responsibility from small businesses.
The rotas of your duties are assigned well in advance, so you can notify employers of your dates, for them to work around. If it falls within a busy spell, where it could take a negative impact on the company employing you, it can be requested to change the rota to fit with the interests of employers, although this is only permitted once in every 12-month period.
Once you become a magistrate, you’ll be able to (if you choose to) bring up the subject at your interview, by describing the transferrable skills you’ve developed and continue to learn by working as a magistrate.
You can show, with concrete evidence that you’re reliable, trustworthy, and highly responsible to serve in the judiciary system. It also shows you can work with discretion. Your role as a magistrate gives you ongoing learning opportunities, gaining transferrable skills, which will benefit employers. The only thing you have to ask in return is for a minimum 13 days off per year, which the court will cover the loss of earnings incurred.
That can be a real asset to the smaller businesses letting them save on your wages, or if you are going to have a loss, they can choose to top your allowance up. When you do this type of voluntary work, it’s certainly best to use it to your advantage, and help raise your employability factor.