A campaign to recruit more volunteers to sit as magistrates in Peterborough court is seeking eastern Europeans too take up the role.
Joan Tiplady who became a magistrate aged 32 said: “You don’t need a legal background as Magistrates have a qualified clerk to advise them.
“We receive training and have a mentor for the first 12 months, then receive continuous professional development.
“We are particularly keen to broaden the diversity of the Bench to reflect our community by encouraging applications from young people, those from Eastern Europe, those from Black and Asian Minority ethnic groups and those with disabilities.”
Magistrates usually sit in teams of three for between 13 and 35 days a year.
People who are aged between 18 and 65 can apply for the role and you do not need to be a British citizen - although some professions, such as police officers, are not eligible.
Joan added: “There are huge and professional benefits for anyone willing and able to put in the time as so many of the skills are transferable. “Magistrates are volunteers but receive expenses.
“Magistrates sit in adult crime and youth crime courts as well as family courts and the range of responsibilities provides opportunities to deal with some of the most difficult issues affecting our community.
“It is a satisfying experience which has broadened my outlook as an individual.”
Recruits could sit in courts in Peterborough, Cambridge and Huntingdon. After experience and further training, magistrates can sit in the youth court dealing with people under 18 charged with criminal offences or in the family court dealing with disputes involving children.
To apply, or for further details, visit www.gov.uk/become-magistrate