It supports talented lawyers from underrepresented groups to feel more equipped, confident and prepared when considering applying for a future judicial role.
This is the first joint initiative of the Judicial Diversity Forum, which is made up of the Judiciary, Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), The Bar Council, The Law Society of England and Wales and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). Forum members are committed to delivering actions that attract applicants for judicial roles from all backgrounds to achieve a more diverse judiciary.
PAJE offers participants from all legal backgrounds the opportunity to develop their understanding of the role and skills required of a judge, through a series of digital resources including 10 short engaging online videos and four podcasts, developed by the Judicial College, which show judges talking about their work and the Judiciary.
These digital resources cover a number of topics such as judgecraft, decision-making, judicial ethics, resilience and equality and diversity. They are available to everyone to view on an unlimited basis on the UK Judiciary YouTube page.
Discussion group courses
To build upon learning, once participants have viewed all 10 videos, PAJE welcomes applications for places on a judge-led discussion group course, which starts in September 2019 at venues across England and Wales. Participation in a course will enable lawyers to further explore the realities of being a judge as well as any perceptions they may have on barriers to a judicial career.
The discussion groups will not provide coaching on how to approach a JAC selection exercise, but will explain the types of skills and experience you will need and get you to think about how those can be demonstrated to meet the JAC competency framework.
As the PAJE programme is focussed on providing additional targeted support to those that are eligible for judicial appointments from the following four underrepresented groups – all BAME lawyers, all women lawyers, all lawyers with disabilities and/or solicitors and chartered legal executives (both with a litigation and non-litigation background) and those from a non-litigation background including academic and non-practising barristers – applications to join the discussion group sessions will be prioritised from those individuals.
Discussion group courses will initially be held in London (x2), Manchester and Bedford this autumn, with further courses held in the other regions of England and Wales in 2020. Each course will consist of four discussion groups, which will last up to two hours, on a fortnightly basis.
How to apply
The application window for the judge-led discussion group courses this autumn has closed. Another application round will open later this year for applicants interested in taking part in discussion group courses from January 2020.
If you have any queries or would like to express an interest in applying for a place on the judge-led discussion group courses from January 2020, please contact PAJE@judiciary.uk stating your full name, relevant contact details (email address/phone number) and whether you meet one or more of the underrepresented groups identified above.