Until fairly recently it was generally assumed that every person appointed to judicial office was endowed by nature with the ability to dispense justice and needed no guidance or instruction in his duties. This view persisted in respect of the judges and Stipendiary Magistrates until the 1960s, and even in the case of lay justices training was not regarded as a matter of importance before 1948. Before that time law and procedure were fairly simple and easy to understand. Training became necessary when Parliament began making the magistrates’ duties more complex and started introducing new sentencing options with a wealth of restrictive detail in the operation of these options.
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