In France, this term covers the body of judges, prosecutors and examining magistrates.
Two kinds of ‘magistrats’ exist in France: those of the administrative courts for disputes involving the administration, and the ordinary court system for disputes between persons, i.e. matière civile (civil matters).
In the ordinary court system, there are two kinds of judges: the magistrats du siège (ordinary court judges) and the magistrats du parquet (public prosecutors) – or, the magistrature assise (the bench) and the magistrature debout (the public prosecutors).
The first are judges: their job is to resolve conflicts by enforcing law through their legal decisions.
The second are not required to render justice, but to defend the interests of society or of the law.