New Threat to Sutton Magistrates' Court

July 13, 2008 7:06 PM

MPs Paul Burstow and Tom Brake have been tipped off about a new threat to Sutton Magistrates' Court.

District Judges are being deployed in courts in London to handle cases normally dealt with by magistrates, undermining the rationale for appointing and retaining local magistrates.

Tom Brake said, "I hope this is not an underhand way of closing the court. Magistrates are an essential ingredient of our legal system. They are highly-trained and committed local volunteers, delivering local justice locally. Nothing should be done to undermine them."

Paul Burstow added, "We value our court greatly. In recent discussions with senior Court officials we were promised that they would look at providing more work for Sutton Magistrates' Court. This is a step in the wrong direction, cutting their workload."

Tom Brake and Paul Burstow have written to the Rt Hon Jack Straw MP seeking his assurances that the Government 'does not seek to replace magistrates with District Judges'.

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