CANDIDATES are being sought for possible appointment as magistrates in North Yorkshire.

Vacancies are expected to arise shortly on the benches of Harrogate, Scarborough and York.

Magistrates are responsible for hearing the majority of all criminal and traffic cases as well as working in family, youth and licensing courts.

Full training and mentoring will be provided for suitable candidates who will be chosen to reflect the diversity of the communities they hope to serve in terms of ethnic origin, geographical spread, occupation and political affiliation.

In order to maintain this balance, applications are particularly sought from younger candidates - aged 27 plus, from members of ethnic minorities, and from supporters of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties.

The closing date for applications is April 30. Anyone who is interested and has the necessary time - a minimum of 26 half-day sittings a year - can contact Geoff Taylor on (01609) 532848 for an information pack, or visit the Lord Chancellor website on