The JAC welcomes applications from any suitably qualified persons, who consider themselves ready for a judicial appointment.
For every vacancy we will receive a vacancy request from the Ministry of Justice which details both the statutory and non-statutory requirements for that specific post.
The JAC assesses candidates against these requirements, and also against the qualities and abilities that the Commission has identified as inherent in any good Judge.
The JAC recognises that experience as a judicial office holder can provide valuable insight into judicial life and help candidates for salaried posts decide whether a full-time appointment is likely to suit them. This is particularly useful as by convention salaried judges do not return to practice.
The Lord Chancellor expects that candidates for salaried posts will have sufficient directly relevant previous judicial experience. Only in exceptional cases and if the candidate in question has demonstrated the skills required in some other significant way should an exception be made.
The JAC Commission Board would waive this only in wholly exceptional cases.
You can read more information about fee paid roles here.
PLEASE NOTE: Full eligibility requirements for each post will be detailed in the information pack for that selection exercise.
Solicitors and barristers
For most posts you will need to have possessed the relevant legal qualification for either five or seven years, and while holding that qualification to have been gaining legal experience.
A solicitor is regarded as being qualified on admission to the Roll and a barrister on completion of pupilage, or if not required to undertake pupilage on being called to the Bar. Since January 2002, no person can practice as a barrister without undergoing pupillage. If you were called to the Bar after this date, you will only be eligible if you have completed or have been exempted from pupillage by the Bar Standards Board. If you have been exempted from pupillage, you will be required to provide evidence at the time applications close, otherwise you will not be eligible to proceed.
Solicitors and barristers are regarded as continuing to hold their qualification even if they do not practise, but those wishing to apply on the basis of their qualification as a solicitor must appear on the Roll, and in all cases must be able to demonstrate that they have been gaining legal experience.
Not only solicitors and barristers can apply.
The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act (2007) has widened the eligibility for many Judicial posts. Where this applies, eligibility for judicial office is no longer based on possession of rights of audience for a specified period. It has opened up some judicial posts beyond solicitors and barristers for the first time, including Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), members of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) and the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA). The list of posts they may apply for are:
• CILEx Fellows: District Judge, District Judge (Magistrates' Courts), Deputy District Judge, Deputy District Judge (Magistrates' Courts), Road User Charging Adjudicator, Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, Employment Judges, Adjudicators (regulation 17 Civil Enforcement of Parking Conventions)
• Registered Patents Attorneys and Trade Mark Attorneys: Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Copyright Tribunal, or to hear and determine appeals under the Trade Marks Act 1994.
Non legal positions
There are a number of positions available in Tribunals for non-legal professionals. The range of opportunities is wide, covering everything from social care to tax, farming to employment. Requirements for these positions are based on the nature of the Tribunal, and candidates must be able to demonstrate the relevant professional experience.
Judicial appointments are open only to citizens of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland or a Commonwealth country. Holders of dual nationality that includes one of the above may also apply. You must meet the nationality requirements at the time applications close.
There is no upper or lower age limit for candidates for judicial appointments apart from the statutory retirement age of 70 for all judges However the age at which someone is appointed must allow for a reasonable length of service to justify the costs of appointment and initial training. This will be dependent on the nature of the judicial office applied for.
Senior appointments are subject to specific selection procedures which differ from our general appointment processes. More information about Senior Appointments is available here.
We welcome applications from people with disabilities and if so requested, we will seek to agree reasonable adjustments to ensure you are treated fairly. Read more on our reasonable adjustments policies here.
Important information for Tribunal judges seeking a new appointment
Under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, First-tier Tribunal judges and non-legal members are classed as single offices.
This means that the Lord Chancellor is unable to appoint someone to another office of Judge of the First-tier Tribunal if they already hold that office and are assigned to a particular Chamber or jurisdiction.
This has consequences for serving judges and non-legal members who wish to move from fee-paid to salaried roles or to add sittings in another Chamber to their existing portfolio.
The Lord Chancellor, the Senior President of Tribunals and the Judicial Appointments Commission have agreed the following approach should be applied:
If you are:
A fee-paid judge applying for salaried post
Where a fee-paid judge wishes to become salaried he or she will normally have to apply through the JAC. If a judge in Chamber A is successful in an exercise for a salaried post in Chamber B they will be asked if they wish to continue sitting in Chamber A in addition to Chamber B. If they do, and the President of Chamber A agrees, they will first need to resign their fee-paid appointment and the Senior President will normally assign them to Chamber A as well as Chamber B.
A fee-paid or salaried judge applying for an additional fee-paid or salaried post
Where a judge or member, whether fee-paid or salaried, wishes to sit in another Chamber in addition to that to which they are currently assigned, they will normally be able to apply through a JAC selection exercise. If successful, they will be required to resign from their current office before they can be appointed to the new office. They will be asked if they wish to continue sittings in their original Chamber as well as the new Chamber, and if they do, and the President of the original Chamber agrees, they will be assigned to their former Chamber as well as the new one.
If you are a fee-paid or salaried Tribunal judge seeking additional assignment
The JAC does not become involved when a judge or member is assigned by the Senior President of Tribunals to an additional Chamber as a result of an internal expression of interest exercise. In these circumstances it has been agreed that the judge or member will not need to resign and be reappointed.