Magistrates' Court

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Magistrates' Court
Established 1 January 1970
Composition method Nomination by the Judicial Appointments Commission with appointment by HM The King
Authorised by Magistracy Act
Appeals to Crown Court
Term length Mandatory retirement at 75
Number of positions 49
Chief Magistrate of New Ingerland
Currently Dame Fenella Gilham
Since 9 July 2001

The Magistrates' Courts are the lowest tier of the court system of New Ingerland. The Magistrates' Courts are chiefly courts of a summary jurisdiction, and deal with the majority of less serious criminal cases and the majority of small civil cases in New Ingerland. The court also has a role in dealing with committal proceedings for indictable offences.

The current Chief Magistrate of New Ingerland is Dame Fenella Gilham, who was appointed to the position in July 2001.


Function and jurisdiction

The Magistrates' Courts are where all criminal and many civil proceedings in New Ingerland first enter the court system, with 98% of all criminal and civil cases heard to finality in the Magistrates' Courts.

Committal proceedings

The Magistrates' Courts also conducts committal proceedings to determine whether or not indictable offences are to be committed to the Crown and Supreme Courts. Committal proceedings in New Ingerland can take on one of two forms; either a person can appear before a magistrate, or that can opt to have their committal heard before a grand jury.


Williamsdene Magistrate's Court

The Magistrates' Courts is not a single court, but rather consists of four separate courts that operate under the umbrella of the Magistracy Act.

District Court

The District is the workhorse of the judiciary in New Ingerland, hearing over xx,xxx cases a year in both criminal and civil matters. Has both criminal and civil jurisdiction; deals with all summary offences; and civil matters where the amount being claimed is up to the value of £3,750.

The District Court consists of 75 magistracy districts, which are coterminous with the municipalities. In each district there is at least one courthouse capable of hearing cases brought before the District Court.

Court of Juvenile Justice

The Court of Juvenile Justice is a specialist court and deals with criminal cases concerning all juveniles under the age of 21. The court has the power to sentence for up to 14 years, can also issue Community Behaviour Orders.

Family Court

The jurisdiction of the Family Court extends to it being entitled to hear some family law matters, including Power of Attorney applications, Domestic Violence Orders, and Guardianship applications for minors and incapacitated adults, as well as matters relating to the care and protection of children and young people.

Coronial Court

Has the jurisdiction to hold inquests concerning certain deaths and suspected deaths of people in New Ingerland; also empowered to hold inquiries concerning certain non-fatal fires and explosions


The courts are presided over by a Magistrate, who dispenses summary justice, under powers usually defined by the Summary Offences Act.

Forms of address

A magistrate is addressed as "Your Worship" while in court.


Unlike judges, magistrates do not have any formal court working dress and they instead wear an ordinary suit when presiding over a court.

See also

References and notes

Other links

Template:Law of New Ingerland