Valerie Murray-Chandra
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'Strangely fulfilled': A magistrate's life

The government has revealed that 93 magistrates' courts are to be closed in England and Wales.

Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly also said the government would shut 49 county courts, as part of its deficit-reduction programme.

But what do magistrates' courts do - and what is it like to sit on the bench at one?

The BBC News website was given rare access to Magistrates' court at Highbury Corner, north London - which has escaped the closures.

Magistrate Valerie Murray-Chandra offers a tour of the court and explains what is involved in her role to dispense justice in the community.

  • 15 Dec 2010