Council of His Majesty’s Circuit Judges (COCJ)

The Council of Circuit Judges is the representative body of Circuit Judges in England and Wales. The committee of the Council consists of elected and co-opted members. Our committee has representatives from all parts of England and Wales and represents all types of work conducted by the Circuit Bench. The President of the Council is His Honour Judge Simon Wood.

Our membership comprises of serving and retired Circuit Judges. Members are encouraged to contact their circuit representative or any of the officers on any issues of concern.

The committee regularly meets with senior judiciary and senior administrators to represent the interests of our members.  The Secretary and President regularly send out communication to members alerting them of any developments that impact on the interests of the Circuit bench.

We also arrange events when our members can meet socially. This is at our Spring lunch, our Summer meeting and dinner usually held local to the President’s home court and our Annual General Meeting and annual dinner in the Autumn, both in London. We hold functions at different locations in England and Wales and they are hugely popular. Retired members also attend.

We frequently contribute to consultations that take place for instance by the Sentencing Council and the Law Commission. In recent times, we have actively represented the interests of our members on the issues of pensions and salaries as well as other matters.

Whilst we no longer sell items of judicial attire, we carry a small stock of Full Bottomed (dress) Wigs that members can borrow for free, on request, for ceremonial occasions.  Please contact our administrative assistant, Jo Wilkinson, by email and provide as much notice as you can if you wish to borrow one of these wigs.

Anyone about to take up appointment should receive information about joining the Council on appointment. If you have not for any reason, please contact the secretary, HHJ Eleanor Owens. If you are a Circuit Judge and wish to become a member of the Council of Circuit Judges, please contact our membership secretaries: Her Honour Judge Corinne Searle or HHJ Richard Scarratt.

We are proud to say that we have a vibrant number of retired colleagues who continue to support us and attend functions. They pay a reduced subscription. The contact for retired Circuit Judges who are members of CoCJ is Her Honour Lesley Newton.

Members who have access to the Judicial Intranet will find further information about CoCJ and the work it does and contact details of the representatives through the Judicial Intranet page and the eJudiciary (external link) sites.