Glossary of Terms

A (9) | B (5) | C (16) | D (8) | E (3) | F (5) | G (1) | H (3) | I (3) | J (7) | L (7) | M (5) | N (5) | O (2) | P (7) | Q (2) | R (2) | S (8) | T (1) | V (1) | Y (2)

Magistrates' Court

A Magistrates’ Court is presided over by a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts).

The main types of civil business transacted by the Magistrates’ Courts are family and domestic cases, debt processes and applications for certain licences.


Masters are generally responsible for exercising the jurisdiction of the High Court where, by statute or under Rules of Court, jurisdiction does not fall to a judge such as assessing costs of any action in the Court of Judicature of NI.

Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT)

The MHRT is responsible for deciding upon the necessity for the compulsory detention of mentally disordered patients in hospital or the continuation of guardianship or aftercare under supervision.

Additional information can be found on the Northern Ireland Courts & Tribunal Service website.

Merit principle

The principle that guides all judicial appointments.

NIJAC is committed to equality of opportunity for all who are eligible for judicial office and welcomes applications from women and men from all backgrounds and sections of the community.

We recommend for appointment to the Lord Chancellor for Crown Appointments such as District Judge, County Court Judge, High Court Judge.

We select for (non Crown) appointments, the applicants who appear to NIJAC to be the most suitable. This is based on merit, regardless of gender, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, religious belief, political opinion, disability, age or dependant responsibilities.

Ministry of Justice (MoJ)

The MoJ was established on 9 May 2007. It has responsibility for the courts, sentencing, prisons, plus policies like voting, crown dependencies, human rights, tribunals and freedom of information.

In Northern Ireland, on the devolution of justice and policing matters to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the MoJ’s equivalent is the Department of Justice.

Additional information can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.