IT has been the cornerstone of the British judicial service since medieval times.

Now the search is on to find the next batch of volunteers after 44 new magistrates were sworn in to sit in the courts across Cheshire.

The newly-appointed magistrates will have the same equal say in reaching decisions and dispensing justice as other experienced magistrates with the support of a legal advisor.

Magistrates sit on a bench with two others and deal with more than 95 per cent of all criminal cases, as well as family and youth cases.

They are required to commit to a minimum number of days in court, equal to 13 days a year which works out on average as one day a month .

Eric Hodgson, chairman of the Cheshire Bench, said: "Our new colleagues have been through a gruelling selection process and an intensive introductory course and are now ready to sit with their more experienced colleagues.

"They are a very diverse group aged from 20 to 64 coming from a wide range of backgrounds and are very capable of understanding and representing the community which they now serve.

"They will each bring their own unique perspectives and experiences to the role."

The Cheshire Advisory Committee is now accepting applications to recruit magistrates to start sitting in 2019.

They are especially interested in receiving applications from people aged 18-50.

The closing date for applications is October 5.

To apply visit