Justice of the Peace – Happy 650th BirthdayThursday, January 13th, 2011
Dorchester’s Old Crown Court shall be playing host to the Dorset Magistrates Society this 25 January.
What’s the occasion? It’s the 650th anniversary of the lay magistrates’ role in the justice system of England and Wales.
This public event, if you are interested, will include lively mock court sessions featuring JPs in historic costumes sentencing members of the public down to the cells beneath the courtroom. Blue Badge Guides will also be on hand to show people down to the cells and to provide specialist knowledge about the building’s controversial history.
Dorchester Crown Court
Over the years Dorchester County Court played host to the famous Tolpuddle Martyrs. This is where a group of 6 people formed a trade union to protest about poor pay and wage cuts.
Sometimes referred to as “Justices of the Peace”, magistrates are volunteers that play a vital role in dealing with around 95 per cent of all criminal cases in England and Wales.