Sixty magistrates: Celebration Ceremony

This year OBV and the Ministry of Justice celebrated the appointment of over 60 Shadowing Scheme graduates who became Justices of the Peace (JPs).
The celebration ceremony was held in the Houses of Parliament and honoured the many Black, Asian minority ethnic (BAME) magistrates who are transforming the justice system in Britain.

Former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice Bridget Prentice, and international civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton, joined the magistrates and court officials to celebrate the landmark of the 60 OBV graduates who have been appointed to the bench nationwide.

Bristol magistrate Georgia Ramsay JP, who graduated from the 2001 pilot scheme was the first OBV graduate to be appointed. She said: “As a Black female I am helping to break down people’s preconceived prejudices. I use my position to encourage others to take a positive stance in creating an equal and fair justice system for all who come into contact with it.”

The Ministry of Justice aims to recruit more magistrates under the age of 50 to promote age diversity. Currently the average age of an OBV graduate magistrate is 35 compared to the average age of magistrates nationally, which is 57.

OBV are confident that we will see more successes as a further graduates have said they may apply to become magistrates in 2010.