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Solicitors offered insight into DDJ applications

By Gazette Reporter >>

(6 September 2022)

Solicitors interested in applying for posts as a deputy district judge will have a chance this week to gain inside knowledge of the selection process. An online pre-application seminar organised by the Judicial Office on Thursday aims to help applicants be better prepared and to receive up-to-date guidance and advice on the Judicial Appointments Commission’s latest selection round. Attendees will also hear from serving deputy district judges and a representative for the JAC.

All lawyers and judicial office holders interested in applying for a DDJ role can attend. Applications are particularly welcome from under-represented groups, the Judicial Office said. 

Deputy district judges are appointed by the lord chancellor after a fair and open competition administered by the JAC, and the statutory qualification is the same as that for appointment as a district judge – a minimum of five years’ right of audience in any part of the Supreme Court, or all proceedings in county courts or magistrates’ courts. 

Successful applicants will usually be required to make themselves available for 30 sitting days a year. 

The Law Society is encouraging members to apply, particularly as a way of improving the diversity of the judiciary. ‘Solicitors bring important skill sets to a judicial role, particularly when it comes to dealing with litigants in person,’ the Society said. ‘They tend to come from more diverse backgrounds, so appointing more solicitors is likely to improve diversity in the judiciary more generally; and the diversity of thought they bring because of their different professional background adds a valuable extra dimension to the overall quality of our world class judiciary.’

Writing in the Gazette in July, Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: ‘The Law Society is strongly committed to taking action at all stages of the judicial lifecycle that will improve diversity in the judiciary.’

The seminar will take place online via Microsoft Teams on Thursday 8 September at  5pm – 6pm.

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)