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Difference between Magistrates and Judges

Difference between Magistrates and Judges

Magistrates vs. Judges

What is Difference between magistrates and judges? Magistrates and judges seem to play the same role in relation to the judiciary, but this is not true; since between the two there are differences, especially as far as their powers are concerned. Below this post is all about the difference between magistrates and judges.

One of the first differences that can be observed is that judges are accredited and have more competencies than a magistrate. The magistrate is known to have more powers over the administration and most of them handle only minor crimes. They can handle crimes, such as small robberies, small crimes and traffic violations. On the other hand, judges handle large cases. While magistrates handle smaller cases, judges are free to handle larger, more complex cases.

Difference between Magistrates and Judges

Unlike a judge, a magistrate is limited only to the application of law and administrative powers. In some countries, judges who are elected usually appoint magistrates.

When talking about jurisdiction, the magistrate has limited jurisdiction compared to a judge. Usually, the magistrate has only jurisdiction within a region, district or province. This jurisdiction may differ from country to country. Judges have a higher authority and can state a state and even a whole country.


The word “magistrate” is derived from medieval English “magistrate”, which means “civil officer in charge of administering the laws”. It could also derive from an old French word “magistrate” ​​or from a Latin voice “magister” which in turn has as root the word “Magnus”.


“Judge” is a word derived from the Anglo-French word “juger” which means “to form an opinion about”, or the French term “jugier” which means “to judge”; although it could also be from the word “judicare”, which also means “to judge”.

Key differences between Magistrates and Judges

  • Judges have more powers than magistrates.
  • Magistrates are responsible for handling misdemeanors, while judges handle those larger and more complex offenses.
  • The magistrate has a more limited jurisdiction than a judge. Judges have a higher authority and may include a state or an entire country.

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