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Judge Advocate General

Closing date:  3 December, 2019 - 13:00

Salary:  £151,497

Location:  The post will be based at the Royal Courts of Justice. Regular travel to Military Court Centres in other parts of the country or abroad, sometimes at short notice, may be required subject to business needs.


The JAC has been asked to identify 1 candidate suitable for selection as Judge Advocate General. This exercise is expected to launch on 19 November 2019.

About the role

The Judge Advocate General has a range of important functions and responsibilities which are discharged either directly, through the Vice Judge Advocate General, Deputy Judge Advocate General or Assistant Judge Advocate Generals, or by the staff of the Judicial Office. These responsibilities fall into three broad areas:

  • Sitting in the Service Courts. The Judge Advocate General is expected to sit on important cases conducting some of the most serious, sensitive or controversial trials and cases involving complex legal issues. The Judge Advocate General specifies judge advocates to each trial.
  • Leadership. The Judge Advocate General is the leadership judge in the Service Courts - issuing directions on practice, procedure and sentencing guidelines; leading on developing the capability of the Service judiciary, ensuring appropriate arrangements for their welfare, training and guidance; and representing the views of the independent judiciary to the Government on Service Justice Board (SJS) operational and policy issues.
  • Governance. Advising the SJS; chairing the Service Courts Rules Committee; monitoring the workings of the Court Martial to advise on efficiency and effectiveness; giving evidence to Parliamentary committees; and maintaining records.

Whilst some military background or previous experience of the Service Justice System as a judge advocate or legal practitioner is desirable, it is not essential.

The successful applicant will also be appointed as a Circuit Judge, if they do not already hold this post. The terms and conditions of the Judge Advocate General will apply for this appointment.

Who can apply

This exercise is open to:

  • a person who satisfies the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 7-year basis;
  • advocates in Scotland of at least 7 years’ who have held a right of audience in the Court of Session or the High Court of Justiciary for at least 7 years;
  • members of the Bar of Northern Ireland of at least 7 years’ standing; and
  • Assistant Judge Advocate Generals or the Vice Judge Advocate General.

In addition, candidates are expected to have previous judicial experience sitting as a judge in a salaried or fee-paid capacity or a similar role such as the chair of an equivalent body for which a legal qualification is required.

Candidates should also be able to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of 5 years, before the statutory retirement age of 70.

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.

Sign up for alerts to receive email notifications concerning the progress of this exercise up to launch.