So a thinktank wants to recruit 10,000 new lay magistrates. This country is still in love with the non-expert amateur. Think of all the training costs involved and the cost of the clerk who might have to accompany them to advise on points of law.

Meanwhile, a similar number of solicitors may be facing closure and bankruptcy, or redundancy. Why not recruit them as additional district judges, or, as I prefer to remember them, ‘stipes’?

Ian Craine, London N15