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WI Meeting September 2023

Did you know that Justices of the Peace and/or Magistrates have been in England and Wales since 1195 with the first woman JPs sitting in 1919? I certainly did not until this month’s WI Meeting. And did you know that there are only 69 magistrates in East Sussex (excluding Brighton) who sit at Hastings – the only magistrates court in East Sussex (again ignoring Brighton)? All these facts and more were given to us in the form of a quiz and discussion by our speakers, two of our East Sussex magistrates – Ali and Lynne. We learnt that anyone between the ages of 18 and 75 can become a magistrate if, and only if, they can show maturity and sound judgement and they are a citizen of either England or Wales – Scotland has another system. It is a voluntary role that asks of each magistrate 13 days a year and 6 hours of continuing training. Magistrates can sentence people up to a maximum of 6 months. All trials start in the magistrates’ courts with an incredible 95% completed at this level leaving the remaining 5% to be sent on to the Crown Court. Next month our speaker will show us how to write a story in 20 words. I am hoping that I will be able to share with you some of these. So, watch this space. And, if you would like to try our WI and help us write a story or two, please have a look at our pages on and contact either Tracy Atchison, or Caty Worlock Pope. You will find our contact details on the website.


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