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District Judge (Magistrates Courts)
The JAC has been asked to identify 25 candidates to recommend as District Judges (Magistrates' Courts). This exercise is expected to launch at 13:00 on 5 March.
About the role
District Judges (Magistrates' Courts) are salaried members of the judiciary who hear cases in magistrates’ courts. They have a national jurisdiction throughout England and Wales. They are appointed by Her Majesty the Queen and have the authority to sit at any magistrates' court in England and Wales.
The District Judges’ main jurisdiction lies in the adult criminal court. Most also sit in the Youth Court with certain Judges ticketed to try young offenders for serious sexual offences. District Judges are also expected to sit in the Single-Family Court and to undertake prison adjudications. In addition, some District Judges:
- have jurisdiction to hear cases under the Extradition Acts. These same District Judges, by convention, conduct Mutual Assistance hearings under the Fugitive Offenders Acts
- are designated by the Lord Chief Justice to deal with matters under the Terrorism Act 2000
- are authorised to try cases which may result in unlimited fines
The Lord Chief Justice expects that District Judges will deal with cases across the full breadth of their jurisdiction, including in areas other than their own base court.
Who can apply
To apply, you must be a solicitor, barrister or Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) with at least 5 years post qualification legal experience.
In addition, candidates must have knowledge of criminal law and procedure and should be able to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of 5 years, before the statutory retirement age of 70.
It is also expected that candidates will have previous judicial experience sitting as a judge in a salaried or fee-paid capacity, or experience in a similar role such as chair of an equivalent body for which a legal qualification is required.
About the process
Throughout the selection process, candidates will be assessed against a Competency framework (PDF) specifically tailored to the role of a District Judge (Magistrates' Courts). The competencies are aligned to the Judicial Skills and Abilities framework used by the judiciary and Judicial College, and lists the ways in which a person demonstrates the required skills and abilities when working effectively in post.
As part of the application, candidates will be required to provide specific examples against the competency framework to demonstrate the necessary skills and abilities. A word limit will be set at 250 words per competency. Further information on completing the self-assessment and choosing the best examples is on the JAC website.
Before you apply you can create an online account. The JAC's online application system requires all candidates to create an account before applying for judicial office. Your account will include your personal, character and diversity profiles. This information is stored on the system so, if you apply for another position in the future, you only need to update your details making the application process quicker and easier.
Sign up for alerts to receive email notifications concerning the progress of this exercise up to launch.