HC Deb 26 January 2004 vol 417 cc51-2W
Chris Ruane

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will list the magistrate benches that (a) do and (b) do not co-operate in joint police, local authority and magistrate courts training [144836]

Mr. Leslie

There is no central data collected on the information requested. It is a matter for each MCC whether joint training and other events take place in co-operation with local authorities and the police. In making these decisions MCCs will also take regard to the need to protect the judicial independence of the magistracy. Local Criminal Justice Boards (LCJB) are the forum through which such co-operation may be discussed and agreed. For example, we know of an LCJB which has been instrumental in developing a protocol on anti-social behaviour order matters which is used by all criminal justice service agencies.

LCJBs are run under a tripartite arrangement involving the Home Office, my Department and the Crown Prosecution Service and seek to include the chief officers from the Police, the Probation Service, Crown Prosecution Service, Crown and Magistrates' Courts, the Prison Service, and Youth Offending Teams. Magistrates' Courts are not represented by magistrates, but the Justices Chief Executive (JCE) does attend as the senior official from the local MCC on their behalf. The JCE has overall responsibility for ensuring that appropriate training is planned and delivered to magistrates and can direct as necessary on issues arising from LCJBs