Difference WikiLegal

Difference Between Judge and Magistrate

Main Difference

To provide justice to the citizens is one of the top priorities of the democratic state, and for this purpose, the judicial system is built which comprises of lawyers, judges, magistrates and many others. It should be kept noted without the strong judicial system which serves justice equally among citizens; a prosperous society can’t be built. The people with great repute, credibility, and required strong educational background are designated on the judicial system as they are up with the mission to serve justice to all. Judges and magistrates are two of the most prominent decision-making personalities that fall under the judicial system. People think both the judge and magistrates are the two different words used for a similar personality, but that is not the case as judge possess wide jurisdiction as compared to that of the magistrates. Not only this, in some countries across the globe judges had the authority to appoint the magistrates. The other major difference between both these judicial system key players is that judge deals with the complex cases, whereas magistrates handle the minor cases like family issues, pick-pocketing, theft, and others.

Comparison Chart

JudgeMagistrate
Judge is the highest level legal officer in the judicial system.A magistrate is accepted as a lower-level position in the judicial system.
Power & Authority
Judges have more power and authority attached to them as compared to the magistrates.Less power and authority.
Nature of Cases
The judge deals with complex cases that usually run for years or have a link with big crimes committed in society.The magistrate deals with minor cases like family issues, theft and others.
Educational Background
The judge is the person who possesses the law degree and has plenty of experience with him.It is not a compulsion for the magistrate to poses the law degree.
Word Origin
The word ‘judge’ is derived from the French word ‘juger’ which means ‘to form an opinion on something.’the word magistrate is derived from the word ‘magistrat’, which was the word used in the medieval ages for the civil officer.
ADVERTISEMENT

Who is Judge?

Judge is the most powerful person in the judicial system as he is on the honorable seat where he makes decisions that are in favor or against someone. The judge is one with the law degree, high experience, and great repute; the government designates him to deal with the complex cases and serve justice to the citizens as efficiently as possible. The counselor lawyer of both the parties try to convince the judge with their evidence to give the decision in their favors, the judge deeply examines the situation and comes up with the decision which supports the set law and judicial system in the country. In some countries, the people appointed as judges have to pass the strict competitive exams. It is compulsory for the judge to have a law degree, in some cases, the experienced lawyer becomes the judge. The cases handled by the judges are complex as they are of higher criminal activities and usually run for several years as deep, probe and evidence searching requires time for them. The word ‘judge’ is derived from the French word ‘juger’ which means ‘to form an opinion on something.’

ADVERTISEMENT

Who is Magistrate?

The magistrate is also the crucial part of the judicial system in the country; he is designated by the government to deal with minor cases and offenses. It is not the compulsion for the magistrate to have the law country in various countries across the globe. The powers and authorities attached to the magistrate are quite lesser than that of the judge. However, the magistrate is also the one who made decisions but have less power and deals with different nature of cases. Mostly many countries describe magistrates as the lower-level position in the justice system while countries like Mexico and Switzerland describe them as the high-level position in the judicial system of the country. The cases magistrate deals with are minor like family issues, theft and other smaller abnormalities within the society.

Key Differences

  1. Judge is the highest level legal officer in the judicial system, whereas magistrate is accepted as the lower-level position in the judicial system.
  2. Both judges and magistrates have to make decisions, although the judges have more power and authority attached to them as compared to the magistrates.
  3. The judge deals with complex cases that usually run for years or have a link with big crimes committed in society. Contrary to this, magistrate deals with minor cases like family issues, theft and others.
  4. Around the globe, the judge is the person who possesses the law degree and has plenty of experience with him, whereas it is not a compulsion for the magistrate to poses the law degree.
ADVERTISEMENT
Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson