Follow up written evidence from the Magistrates Association

 

Breakdown of data from MA survey on proposals to reduce the backlog

 

In order to inform the Magistrates Association (MA) position on a number of proposals being considered to reduce the existing backlog of cases, we carried out a survey with sitting members. A link to an online survey was sent out on 17 June 2020 to all sitting members of the MA who have not opted out of receiving such emails. The survey was closed after two weeks. We received 1,740 responses.

 

All adult magistrates: 1689 respondents overall

All youth magistrates: 330 respondents overall

All family magistrates: 495 respondents overall

All family only magistrates: 45 respondents overall

 

  1. Alternative hours: Would you be willing to sit during the following out of hour’s periods, if asked?

 

 

 

Yes

Maybe

No

Early morning weekdays

All (1,665)

1,029 (61.80%)

300 (18.02%)

336 (20.18%)

Adult (1,621)

997 (61.51%)

295 (18.20%)

329 (20.30%)

Youth (318)

199 (62.58%)

50 (15.72%)

69 (21.70%)

Family (454)

306 (67.40%)

68 (14.98%)

80 (17.62%)

Family only (41)

30 (73.17%)

5 (12.20%)

6 (14.63%)

 

 

 

 

Late evening weekdays

All (1,672)

921 (55.08%)

385 (23.03%)

366 (21.89%)

Adult (1,633)

898 (54.99%)

374 (22.90%)

361 (22.11%)

Youth (319)

166 (52.04%)

88 (27.59%)

65 (20.38%)

Family (474)

262 (55.27%)

116 (24.47%)

96 (20.25%)

Family only (37)

21 (56.76%)

11 (29.73%)

5 (13.51%)

 

 

 

 

Saturdays, 9am-5pm

All (1,668)

915 (54.86%)

392 (23.50%)

361 (21.64%)

Adult (1,628)

889 (54.61%)

387 (23.77%)

352 (21.62%)

Youth (321)

171 (53.27%)

78 (24.30%)

72 (22.43%)

Family (474)

254 (53.59%)

120 (25.32%)

100 (21.10%)

Family only (38)

25 (65.79%)

4 (10.53%)

9 (23.68%)

 

 

 

 

Sundays daytime

All (1,606)

591 (36.80%)

313 (19.49%)

702 (43.71)

Adult (1,566)

572 (36.53%)

309 (19.73%)

685 (43.74%)

Youth (308)

91 (29.55%)

73 (23.70%)

144 (46.75%)

Family (466)

181 (38.84%)

83 (17.81%)

202 (43.35%)

Family only (38)

18 (47.37%)

3 (7.89%)

17 (44.74%)

 

 

  1. Alternative venues: Would you be happy to sit in alternative venues, as long as suitable security arrangements were in place?

 

 

Yes

No

Don’t know

Adult court (all adult magistrates (1, 683)

1,323 (78.61%)

257 (15.27%)

103 (6.12%)

Youth court (all youth magistrates) (327)

265 (81.04%)

47 (14.37%)

15 (4.59%)

Family court (all family magistrates) (492)

453 (92.07%)

23 (4.67%)

16 (3.25%)

Family court (all family only magistrates) (44)

41 (93.18%)

1 (2.27%)

2 (4.55%)

 

  1. One proposal is to temporarily permit a crown court judge sitting with two magistrates, but no jury, to deal with either-way cases. Would you be willing to be involved in the following examples?

 

Adult court magistrates

 

 

Yes

No

Don’t know

Would you be willing to sit with a crown court judge for either-way offences, if you were able to be involved in all decisions? (1,674)

 

1,525 (91.10%)

 

78 (4.66%)

 

71 (4.24%)

Would you be willing to sit with a crown court judge for either-way offences, if you were only involved in deciding guilt or innocence, but no other decisions? (1,662)

 

999 (60.11%)

 

 

499 (30.02%)

 

164 (9.87%)