The creation of the County Palatine in 1351 gave the Duke of Lancaster the right to appoint magistrates within the Duchy.
This long tradition came to an end on 31 March 2005 under the Courts Act 2003. Prior to this, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster had the authority, on behalf of The Sovereign, to appoint magistrates in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside. Responsiblity for the appointment of magistrates throughout England and Wales is now vested in the Ministry of Justice, under the Lord Chancellor.
Individuals interested in applying to become a magistrate can obtain an application form by accessing the Ministry of Justice website at: www.justice.gov.uk