The innovative magistrate and legitimacy: lessons for a mobile ‘solution-focused’ model

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This article focuses on the legitimacy question of a Magistrate spearheading novel approaches – whether on circuit, as part of a specialist court or as one Magistrate within a multi-member jurisdiction. Using a range of case examples, this article unpacks how innovation can occur in this context and suggests that innovation, while representing a challenge to a Magistrate’s legitimacy, can also become the fuel generating legitimacy for the Magistrate and the court which they serve. We argue that the core of the process of legitimacy creation and re-creation in this context is trust, and that community by-in is essential to ensure that innovative practices resonate with the community the court serves and are effective in achieving their aims. The paper uses these understandings to sketch out lessons for future innovation, including for a mobile ‘solution-based’ justice model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897-919
Number of pages23
JournalUniversity of New South Wales Law Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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