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s9(4): Deputy High Court Judge
The next deputy High Court judge competition is expected to launch mid-January 2019 with up to 20 vacancies across all 3 divisions (Family, Chancery and Queen’s Bench).
For candidates of exceptional ability, this is an excellent opportunity to gain experience working in the High Court, undertaking work that would otherwise be reserved for salaried High Court judges.
No previous judicial experience is required. Solicitors and barristers with at least 7 years post qualification legal experience are eligible to apply.
The Commission encourages diversity and welcomes applications from groups currently under represented in the judiciary. The principles of fair and open competition will apply and recommendation for appointment will be made solely on merit.
About the role
The role will require exceptional standards of preparation and judge craft. Candidates may be asked to reach decisions on paper alone and/or given a specific trial or hearing.
Depending on the jurisdiction, successful candidates may be given the opportunity to sit across all divisions of the High Court (subject to the approval of the senior judiciary) and hear a range of work including:
- business and property law disputes, both national and international
- public and private law cases involving children and families (possibly involving difficult expert evidence), financial disputes, including substantial asset divorce cases, and jurisdictional disputes following foreign divorce decrees
- child abduction and international family law, including relocation cases and the inter-relation of the law of England and Wales with European law
- contract and tort disputes and possibly specialist areas such as planning, commercial, defamation, technology and construction
- in the administrative court, judicial review claims and statutory challenges to the actions of public authorities.
Peter Marquand and Akhlaq Choudhury were both appointed deputy High Court judges in 2016. Peter Marquand talks about what it means to be a deputy high court judge and Akhlaq Choudhury, who is now a High Court judge, explains his reasons for wanting to be a judge.
Appointment will be on a 4-year fixed-term basis. Successful candidates will be encouraged to apply for a future High Court selection exercise in which candidates are required to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of 5 years. Candidates for this exercise are therefore expected to have a reasonable length of service of at least 8 years.
About the process
In this year’s exercise candidates will be assessed against Skills and Abilities which are aligned with those used on the High Court exercise.
The application window will be 3 weeks and will require candidates to provide a statement of suitability demonstrating the Skills and Abilities. The JAC will also request independent assessments from the candidates’ 2 nominated assessors.
The first stage of the process will be a paper sift based on the information provided in candidates’ applications and independent assessments. Those successful in the paper sift will participate in a telephone assessment.
Those who are shortlisted will then be invited to attend an interview that will involve questions relating to the Skills and Abilities as well as a role play.
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