HC Deb 03 May 2001 vol 367 c794W
Mr. Hendrick

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what steps the Lord Chancellor is taking to encourage people from ethnic minority communities to become magistrates. [160591]

Jane Kennedy

Schemes to allow people from the ethnic communities to shadow magistrates in order to encourage a wider understanding of their role will be established in June with Operation Black Vote. My noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor has asked officials to begin work to establish the schemes and to look at ways his local Advisory Committees can make better contacts with particular community groups to encourage applications. Operation Black Vote will begin the task of recruiting people to take part in the shadowing schemes during May. There will initially be seven pilot areas, two in London and one each in Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff and Oldham.