00820: District Judge (Civil)

Number of vacancies: 42.5

The Judicial Appointments Commission is looking to select District Judges (Civil) across England and Wales.

Salary: £103,950
Launch date: noon on 18 June 2013
Closing date for applications: noon on 9 July 2013
Locations: Across England and Wales

5 in the North West
16 in London and the South East
3.5 in the South West
2 in Wales
7 in Midlands
9 in the North East

The jurisdiction of District Judges embraces virtually the whole spectrum of civil and family law, those appearing before District Judges range from Queen's Counsel to litigants in person. This means that the work that District Judges do has a significant, vital and lasting impact on the lives of large numbers of people, many of them disadvantaged and vulnerable.

Your responsibilities as a District Judge will include conducting trials in open court, hearings in chambers and making decisions on paper. You will have to determine applications on matters such as judgment enforcements, divorce petitions, financial orders, cases under the Children Act 1989, assessment of costs and allocation and management of defended claims. The role may also bring with it a number of other responsibilities, from mentoring to liaising with Family Proceedings Courts and serving on various advisory committees.

The JAC welcomes applications from solicitors, barristers and Fellows of CILEx with at least five years post qualification experience (PQE). For this role, applicants are also expected to have sufficient, directly relevant judicial experience. The meaning of "directly relevant experience" is sitting as a judge in a salaried or fee-paid capacity, for fee-paid judges this should be for a period of at least two years or 30 sitting days since appointment. Only in exceptional cases and if the candidate in question has demonstrated the necessary skills in some other significant way should an exception be made.

The last selection process for District Judges (Civil) was in 2011 and successful candidates came from a wide variety of backgrounds: 43 per cent women; 7 per cent Black, Asian and minority ethnic lawyers; 4 per cent disabled lawyers and 73 per cent solicitors. Selections are made solely on merit.

Key terms and conditions
 A District Judge cannot practice as a barrister or solicitor or be indirectly concerned in any such practice. The Lord Chancellor regards a judicial office as a lifetime appointment and any offer of appointment is therefore made on the understanding that the appointee will not return to practice.
 The normal retirement age is 70 with a reasonable length of service of five years.
 Judges are expected to devote not less than 215 days per year to judicial business.
 A District Judge must live within reasonable travelling distance of his/her base court. For more information, click here http://jac.judiciary.gov.uk/about-jac/2247.htm
 Membership of the judicial pension scheme is automatic on appointment, but it is not compulsory and a holder of judicial office may opt out.

To the right of this page, there is an application form; an information pack describing the role, the selection process and providing key dates; a full job description and terms and conditions of employment.

Not quite ready to apply?

Individuals who are eligible to apply, but do not intend to do so this time, can gain experience for future selection exercises, by volunteering to take part in a mock qualifying test. These mock opportunities help the JAC to fine-tune the content of the selection process. If you are interested in taking part please email (valerie.robbins@jac.gsi.gov.uk) for more information.

Please note that by participating you will disqualify yourself from applying for this selection exercise, this time. You will, of course, be free to apply for other positions running concurrently or afterwards. 

Please be aware that the scheduled advertisement date for this selection exercise is provisional and subject to change. Please check back regularly to see if the selection exercise remains in the programme or if the launch date or number of vacancies has changed.