PUBLIC SECTOR: Magistrates lobby to maintain local managerial rights

Magistrates have launched a lobbying campaign to stop plans to reduce their power.

The Central Council of Magistrate's Courts Committees has launched the initiative as the Government prepares to publish a white paper on the future of the criminal courts system.

The CCMCC is backing calls for a unified courts system, but wants this to include an assurance of local-level management. Currently, all magistrates courts are managed locally by magistrates' committees.

However, a review published by Lord Justice Auld is recommending the courts are run by a national executive agency, scrapping the magistrates committee system, and leading to a loss of local accountability, according to the CCMCC.

Good Relations has been hired to assist the campaign. Agency director and former Labour Party director of comms David Hill leads the account, reporting to CCMCC chief executive Duncan Webster.

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