How to Become a Judge in UK?: Procedure, Documents Required, Eligibility, Exams

Procedure to Become a Judge in UK

  • The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), which appoints judges, is where you would apply for legally eligible judicial positions in the court system.
  • You must be a qualified solicitor, barrister or chartered legal executive
  • The length of the selection process, which includes applications and assessments, as well as the requirements for suitability, depend on the role and the seniority of the position in addition to the basic eligibility requirements for the judicial role (such as 5-7 years’ experience).
  • Check different types of roles.
  • Check forthcoming vacancies and review different types of roles.
  • Prepare the textual materials you will need to submit your application, which will be described on the job posting page.
  • The practice qualifying test was created as a practice tool to assist you in becoming accustomed to the format.
  • The majority of roles have competency-based selection procedures, and competency frameworks will be applied at every stage. Make sure you are aware with the required competences for the position because you will need to show that you either already possess them or have the aptitude to learn them quickly.


  • Must have a law degree (LLB) or an equivalent legal qualification, such as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).
  • You must have a good reputation in the legal profession and demonstrate qualities such as integrity, fairness, and impartiality.
  • At the time of application, candidates must be citizens of the Republic of Ireland, the Commonwealth, or the United Kingdom.
  • The Lord Chancellor may add other criteria to each exercise that applicants must satisfy, such as prior judicial experience, specific expertise in a given field of law, or membership in a particular association. The information page for each activity will include a list of additional selection criteria.
  • Other than the statutory retirement age, candidates have no maximum or lower age restriction. We shall consider applications from applicants who can offer a reasonable period of service before attaining the retirement age of 75 (as of March 10, 2022) following suggestion.

Documents Required

  • You need to submit a comprehensive CV that highlights your legal career, qualifications, and any relevant professional achievements.
  • Some applications may require a cover letter or personal statement in which you explain your interest in the judicial role and provide additional context about your qualifications and suitability for the position.
  • Copies of your academic transcripts and certificates to demonstrate your legal qualifications.
  • Letters of recommendation or references from legal professionals who can vouch for your character, skills, and experience.
  • Documentation to verify your legal practice experience, including details of the law firms or chambers where you have worked and the nature of your legal work.
  • Proof of British citizenship or your legal right to work in the UK.
  • Some applications may request a recent passport-sized photograph.
  • Information about any relevant training or professional development you have undertaken, including courses, seminars, or workshops related to the judiciary.

Exams and assessment

Here are some common types of exams and assessments that may be part of the judicial selection process:

1. Qualifying Test

  • Multiple-choice qualifying exams normally consist of two sections: a situational judgment test and a critical analysis test. They are used in certain activities to gauge a candidate’s aptitude for analyzing data, spotting problems, applying sound judgment, grasping the law effectively, and simply outlining how judgments were made.
  • You can use this practice qualifying test to familiarise yourself with the qualifying test’s format, software, and question style.
  • It has 20 situational judgment and 20 critical analysis questions and has a time limit of 40 minutes for each section.

2. Scenario Test

  • For some tasks, we additionally employ a scenario test as a secondary shortlisting approach. Candidates taking scenario tests must evaluate the facts in the materials they were given and determine the pertinent issues from these in order to respond to the questions in writing.

3. Practice Test

  • You will have 10 minutes for each section of this practice test, which consists of 5 questions on situational judgment and 5 questions on critical analysis. You can take a break between each part and a timer will show you how much time remains.

4. Situational Judgment Test (SJT

  • Each question will depict a distinct scenario that a judge might encounter. Not your understanding of the rules or procedures but your ability to judge how acceptable the potential actions are will determine how well you perform.
  • There are 5 answer options for each question.
  • For each accurate response, you will receive one mark. Therefore, each question is worth two points. The subsequent best and subsequent poorest answers receive no credit.

5. Critical analysis 

  • In a real qualifying test, you would receive written material to study for the exam by receiving it in advance. The text will be provided to you before the critical analysis test in this practice version. You can take as much time as necessary to read the text, and if you’d like, you can have a copy nearby while taking the test. Only after you navigate to the questions will the timer start.

6. After the test

  • You’ll receive your test results at the conclusion. You can retake the test as many times as you would like. There is no way for anyone at the JAC to know who took the practice test, and the scores are not kept on file. Your score on this practice test does not represent the marks you might obtain on a real exam in the future. To determine your readiness to apply, you should complete this practice test together with the variety of additional tools available on the JAC website.

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