Magistrate and Judge seem to be synonymous in the judiciary, but they are not. There are differences in the nature of their powers. A judge is appointed by the President of India, and a Magistrate is appointed by the High Courts of India. 

The judiciary acts as the third organ of the government that protects the interests of the citizens. It is the final authority that explains legal matters and constitutional arrangements. It acts as the guardian of the constitution and the protector of the fundamental rights of the people. Judges are the heads of the High Court, Supreme Court, and other subordinate courts, and they are not equal to the magistrates. The power of the magistrate is relatively lesser than the judge. The jurisdiction of a magistrate varies from state to state but usually comes under a city or a district.

Who is a Judge?

The word ‘Judge’ was derived from the French word ‘Jugier’, which means ‘To judge’. Also, from the Latin word ‘Judicare’, which means ‘to judge, or to determine judicially, form an opinion upon something and pronounce judgement’.

A judge is a Judicial officer who factually evaluates the legal cases through court proceedings. It is his moral duty to hear and decide matters relating to law. The President of India appoints him after a discussion with the Chief Justice of India and all the governors of the states of India.

Also read: A Career in Judiciary – Is it a Good Choice?

Who is a Magistrate?

The word ‘magistrate’ is derived from the French word ‘Magistrat’, which basically means “civil officers in charge of administrating laws” and also from a Latin word ‘magister’ means to “administer the laws”. A magistrate listens to civil or criminal matters and makes a decision. He is usually appointed by the judge and is in charge of maintaining the laws and order in a particular area, town, district, or locality. His work is to establish necessary coordination between various government agencies working in the district.

What is the difference between Magistrate and Judge?

                            Judge               Magistrate
A Judge is a judicial officer who administers the court proceedings and decides the matter in the court. He gives the judgement after analysing the facts and evidence related to the case. A magistrate is elected by the judges of the high court to maintain law and order. He handles minor cases in a specific area in a city, town, district etc.
The judge has the authority to make decisions in serious and complex cases. The cases that reach the High Court have a higher degree of a criminal offence. To give judgements, he must have an excellent understanding of the law.A magistrate passes decisions on small and minor matters. In fact, the Magistrate gives initial decisions on the criminal cases. He has more powers of an administrator. 
A Judge can award life imprisonment or a death sentence commensurate with the seriousness of the crime.A Judicial Magistrate does not have the power to award a sentence of life imprisonment or death.
It is mandatory for the judge to have a law degree and must practice advocacy in the court. A magistrate may or may not require a law degree in every country.
A judge will have the same job description in any part of the world.A magistrate may have a different job description in different parts of the world.

Hope that now you have understood the difference between the Judge and the Magistrate. The judge and the magistrate both are crucial members of the judiciary. They are law binders who collectively work to maintain the continuum of justice, peace, and care in our country.

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