'Contributing to your community'
TEN ordinary men and women have sworn to do right to all manner of people without fear, favour, affection or ill will.
The trainee magistrates also took an oath of allegiance to the Queen — and her heirs — at a ceremony at Swansea's magistrates' court.
Among them was Alison Davies.
"It is something I have wanted to do for a long time," said the NHS mental health nurse, of Port Talbot. "I feel it is way of contributing to the local community by upholding the law.
"I think it is important that you know the community."
Mrs Davies said she expects the role of magistrate to be both challenging and rewarding.
She said her bosses had been very supportive of her successful application, which will require her to "sit" for a minimum of 26 court sessions a year.
And now the hard work begins!
Mrs Davies and the other nine pictured will begin their training this month before sitting in courts in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot from January onwards.
Senior legal adviser and trainer Jim Hehir, Justices Clerk for West Glamorgan, said they will learn more about the justice system, practice and procedure in magistrates' court, and powers in relation to bail, remand and sentencing.
"Magistrates are not lawyers," said Mr Hehir. "They are assisted in court by professional legal advisers."
There are currently around 26,000 magistrates in England and Wales. They have the power to sentence a defendant aged 21 and over to six months in jail or issue a £5,000 fine for one offence.
Magistrates, or justices of the peace (JPs), are volunteers from all walks of life and deal with around 95 per cent of criminal cases. With experience and further training they are able to deal with cases in family and youth courts.
Magistrates sit on a bench of three, with an experienced chairman flanked by two others.
Their role may change under new UK Government plans for the justice system, with potentially increased powers to deal with cases that would otherwise go to Crown Court, and restricted powers to jail lower level offenders.
To apply to become a magistrate for 2012 visit www.direct.gov.uk and click on the 'crime and justice' link.