Chartered Legal Executives as Judges
As part of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007,
Chartered Legal Executive lawyers with five years'
post-qualification experience are eligible to apply for some
judicial appointments, alongside barristers and solicitors and
other recognised lawyers. A key purpose of the legislation was to
support diversity by widening the range of those eligible to apply
to become judges.
The legislation was part of government commitment to increasing
public confidence in the judiciary and the justice system. The
widening of eligibility meant that the Judicial Appointments
Commission is able to draw from a wider pool of talent when running
selection exercises, ensuring the most talented and able candidates
are appointed to the judiciary.
The changes have allowed those with the relevant skills,
experience and expertise to apply for judicial office, instead of
just solicitors and barristers. The following posts are now open to
suitably qualified Chartered Legal Executive lawyers:
- District Judge; District Judge (Magistrates Courts)
- Deputy District Judge; Deputy District Judge (Magistrates
- Road User Charging Adjudicator
- Legally qualified member of the Asylum and Immigration
- Member of Panel of Chairmen of the Employment Tribunal;
- Judge of the First Tier Tribunal; and
- Adjudicators (regulation 17 Civil Enforcement of Parking
CILEx strongly recommends that members who are considering
applying for a judicial appointment take part in the workshadow a judge scheme before making an
application. The scheme is aimed at giving those who are thinking
of applying for judicial office an insight into judicial work and
responsibilities. The scheme provides the opportunity to spend up
to three days observing (both in and out of court) the working
lives of judges.
The latest posts available through the Judicial Appointments
Commission (JAC) selection exercises can be found here.
UCL Judicial Institute run a course available
in the UK that offers lawyers the opportunity to gain a greater
understanding of what it means to be a judge. This course is
intended for practitioners and legal academics who currently do not
hold a judicial post but who may be interested in taking on a
fee-paid or salaried judicial appointment in the courts and
tribunals in future. The course
is open to all CILEx members.
If you would like to discuss opportunities for judicial appointment
in more detail please email our Careers Guidance Practitioner at
the following address firstname.lastname@example.org.
News articles and case studies:
Simon Lindsey is a Deputy District Judge, Partner
and Chartered Legal Executive at Greenwoods Solicitors LLP.
Read his case study here.
Ian Ashley-Smith was interviewed by Legal Cheek;
he discusses his route into law as well as becoming a Deputy
District Judge without having a law degree.
Read the full interview here.
"There is now no limit to what Chartered Legal Executive Lawyers
can achieve within the legal profession" - First Chartered
Legal Executive Judge, Deputy District Judge Ian Ashley-Smith.
Read the full press release
"After many years in the law I was at a point where I wanted
to take a new path which still made use of the experience I accrued
in private practice. A judicial role has been very much the route
to achieving this." - Second Chartered Legal Executive Judge,
Deputy District Judge Simon Lindsey. Read the full press release here.
What judicial posts are available and what are the
prospects for practising Chartered Legal Executive Fellows?
CILEx Journal discusses the options.