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Launch of Deputy High Court S9(4) support programme 2019


Today (9 August 2019) the Judicial Diversity Committee is launching a programme for those interested in applying to be s.9(4) Deputy High Court Judges. Places, for this opportunity, are limited to candidates from groups that are not yet fully represented – women, BAME individuals and those from a less advantaged background.

Deputy High Court Judges hear matters of important legal principle and deal with issues at the forefront of the legal system in England and Wales. Those seeking appointment as a Deputy High Court Judge should have exceptional ability, expertise and experience to deal with all but the very heaviest cases (normally reserved for salaried High Court Judges). The work will include dealing with complex cases, requiring meticulous preparation. Successful candidates will occasionally be asked to reach decisions on paper alone and may be given a specific trial or hearing that could last one or two weeks.

Depending on the jurisdiction, successful candidates may be given the opportunity to sit across all Divisions of the High Court – subject to the approval of the senior judiciary.

Appointment will be on a fixed term basis, although candidates will be expected to have a reasonable length of service of at least eight years at the time of application for these Deputy High Court Judge roles. Successful candidates are encouraged to apply for the High Court selection exercise and this will enable the required sittings to be undertaken prior to application to the High Court and allow for the five years reasonable length of service required of a High Court Judge.

The programme is open to exceptional candidates who, are barristers, solicitors or academics and, meet the eligibility requirements for Deputy High Court Judges. More information on these roles is set out in the criteria for the last selection exercise on the JAC website.

The scheme offers:

  • The opportunity to meet with a judge in the High Court and to speak to them about the nature of the work, ask questions about the role and decide whether a High Court appointment is suitable for them.
  • A one-day workshop will offer guidance on how to prepare for the selection exercise. It will also provide tips and advice on presenting evidence against the Judicial Appointments Commission’s skills and abilities framework to suit the distinct stages of the selection process.

The programme is intended to help candidates make a stronger application to the Deputy High Court Judge selection exercise; but once they have completed the programme, they will have to compete on merit with the other applicants.

How do I apply?

  • Candidates wishing to apply to join the programme should complete the application form which will include a statement of your suitability for the role and how you meet the diversity criteria.  Applications close on 20 September 2019.

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