Residents in Copeland are being encouraged to consider becoming a magistrate.

Copeland Council has encouraged residents across the borough to consider becoming a magistrate, given that there is currently a shortage of magistrates across Cumbria.

The voluntary role is vital for the effective running of the legal system. Magistrates hear cases in criminal courts, family courts or both settings.

Individuals volunteering to become magistrates do not need formal qualifications or legal training to become magistrates, and will get full training for the role.

A spokesman for Copeland Council said: "There’s a shortage of magistrates in Cumbria and the committee that appoints them is urging people to apply before the end of the year.

"The committee would like to hear from people aged between 18 and 65, and is particularly keen to hear from young adults."

Magistrates must retire at 70, and are normally expected to serve for at least five years. They are expected to be in court for at least 13 days a year.

Employers must, by law, allow magistrates reasonable time off work to serve.