Magistrates to get training in assertiveness

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The Independent Online

Justices of the Peace are to be given assertiveness training to help them with long-winded lawyers and colleagues who waste time in reaching decisions, leading to delays in court.

Justices of the Peace are to be given assertiveness training to help them with long-winded lawyers and colleagues who waste time in reaching decisions, leading to delays in court.

The training includes tips on how to intervene when members of the public disrupt court proceedings.

Magistrates are asked to deal with three scenarios - a repetitive solicitor, an outburst of giggling in the public gallery, and a waffling magistrate.

The initiative - entitled "Can we get on please?" - requires magistrates to practise assertiveness by using positive thinking and body language. It recommends addressing transgressors as an adult might talk to a naughty child by "leaning forward with arms folded".

The Magistrates' Association, which devised the training pack launched yesterday, encourages its 30,000 members to use "steady eye contact".