Difference Between Magistrates and District Judges

Most people do not know the difference between a magistrate and a district judge, as they think of them as same designations with different job titles. Nevertheless, this is not the case and there is a clear difference between the duties of magistrates and that of a district judge. No doubt that responsibility of a magistrate is very similar to that of a district judge but the extent of authority and control differs greatly. Therefore, you should keep in mind that judges have considerably more power than magistrates, thus they are higher in rank.


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    Judges have more authority

    The major difference between a judge and a magistrate is that the former has considerably more authority over the other. Most people confuse them to be similar designation with different names but this is not the case. A judge has more value in the eyes of law and thus is granted more control. In contrast, the duties of a magistrate are a bit more than those of administrators. A magistrate cannot get his hands on something of great offence and only handles the cases of minor offenses.  Keep in mind that you cannot match the authority of magistrates with that of judges as there is a big difference.

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    Judges handle cases of extreme nature

    Not to mention that the judges handle cases of extreme nature while a magistrate cannot do so neither willingly nor by law. Remember that the magistrates are of relatively lesser importance as compared to judges as they mainly perform the duties of administrators. In numerous countries, judges are granted permission by law to hire magistrates. This gives ample of time to a magistrate to flourish his skills as he handles a case of low offence and gains experience. For example, the US Federal Court System requires a judge to recruit a magistrate in America.

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    Judges have more jurisdictions

    Generally, magistrates do not have control over a wider area and their authority is only limited to a particular region, district or county. In contrast, judges have authority over the entire state or may be country. Meaning that, the case of particular county or district cannot be handled by a magistrate of other county but a judge has the authority to do that. You should remember that several magistrates can work under a judge but a judge is not required to report to a magistrate in any case.

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