U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Career of an Examining Magistrate

NCJ Number
Revue de science criminelle et de droit penal compare Issue: 3 Dated: (July-September 1978) Pages: 711-714
J Goulesque; J Michaud
Date Published
4 pages
The professional career ladder for examining magistrates in France holds early promise of decisionmaking responsibility and long-term assurance of career progression, but also must be taken seriously, and climbed with care.
Examining magistrates can have the pick of positions immediately upon leaving school, except for Paris and immediate suburbs, and can progress quite rapidly to extremely responsible positions where they will spend the rest of their professional careers. In the process, very young examining magistrates are forced to become experts at decisionmaking early, to recognize the consequences of their decisions, and to understand that other than moving into more and more important courts, their jobs will not change substantially. In their hands are the functions of determining indictment, incarceration, and arrest, the consequences of which are the labeling of potentially innocent persons, the disruption of others' work and family ties, and the psychological trauma of incarceration. While some may criticize the judicial system for allowing young examining magistrates to be picked straight out of the universities, others point out that these persons are taught discernment, lucidity in making decisions, and balance between options. In any case, these young magistrates must, while taut with learning, apprehension, and enthusiasm, recognize that they have yet to develop wisdom and experience. At the other end, the examining magistrate of 10 years must equalize a familiar increasingly isolated routine with stimulation from contact with colleagues through continuing education. Both the young and the old can maintain their professional ethic by considering each accused, each plaintiff, and each witness as an individual 'without compare.' And while specialization is becoming a fact among the judiciary, examining magistrates must maintain generalists within their ranks who represent continuity. --in French.


No download available