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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 July, 2003, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Push to recruit ethnic magistrates
Derby magistrates court
The government feels magistrates court must reflect their communities
A new scheme which aims to increase the numbers of magistrates from black and ethnic communities is being set up in Derby.

The magistrates shadowing project has already proved successful in other parts of the country.

The scheme was set up to help address the deficit of black and ethnic magistrates.

The Lord Chancellor's Department is aware that many magistrates courts do not accurately reflect the racial mix of the communities they serve.

The scheme, which will run in Derby and south Derbyshire, gives black and ethnic minority people the chance to shadow a magistrate for 6 months.

It is hoped that by giving people first hand knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of magistrates more people from ethnic backgrounds will then apply to do the job themselves.

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