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For the musical group, see Magistrates (band).
Lyman Poore Duff.jpg
Sir Lyman Poore Duff, a former judge of the Supreme Court of Canada
Names Judge, Justice of the Peace, magistrate
Competencies Analytical mind, critical thinking, impartiality, common sense
Usually experience as an advocate (varies by jurisdiction)
Barrister, solicitor, prosecutor
In modern usage, a magistrate is a judge or lawyer who hears cases in courts. In the United Kingdom, the term magistrate usually refers to a volunteer of the Magistrates' Courts, whereas in North America it refers to an officer of the state. Formerly, in ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest ranking government officers and possessed both judicial and executive powers. Today, in common law systems, a magistrate has limited law enforcement and administration authority. In civil law systems, a magistrate may be a judge in a superior court, where the magistrates' court might have jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases. A related but not always equivalent term is chief magistrate which historically can denote a political and administrative officer.
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