Judiciary

All judges, when they are sworn in, must take two oaths/affirmations.

All judges, when they are sworn in, must take two oaths/affirmations. The first is the oath of allegiance and the second the judicial oath; these are collectively referred to as the judicial oath.

Oaths

Justices of the Supreme Court

These are the judges for the highest court in the United Kingdom for civil and criminal matters, The Supreme Court. They will deal with hearing appeals from courts in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

They are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister from recommendations from a selection Commission.

Appointments of Justices of the Supreme Court

Biographies of the Justices - The Supreme Court



Lord Chief Justice

This the name given to the judge who presides over the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court. The passing of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 led to the Lord Chief Justice becoming Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales. The Lord Chief Justice, as President of the Courts of England and Wales, is responsible for representing the views of the judiciary to Parliament and the Government.

The Lord Chief Justice is appointed by a special panel convened by the Judicial Appointments Commission they are usually appointed from among Appeal Court judges - the Lords and Lady Justices or from the Supreme Court.

Lord Chief Justice

Lord chief justice warns against state encroachment

BBC News - Sir John Thomas becomes new Lord Chief Justice



Heads of Division and Court of Appeal Judges.

The Court of Appeal has a Civil Division and a Criminal Division they hear appeals and for most cases are the final court of appeal although some cases can apply to the Supreme Court. The judges sitting in the Court of Appeal consist of the Heads of Division as well as the Lords Justices of Appeal. The Heads of Division are as follows:

  • The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (the senior judge in the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal);

  • The Master of the Rolls (the senior judge in the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal);

  • The President of the Queen's Bench Division;

  • The President of the Family Division;

  • The Chancellor of the High Court.

The Lords Justices of Appeal, are addressed as “Lord/Lady Justice (Surname)” or “(Surname) LJ” for short.

Court of Appeal judges have the experience of a long career in the judiciary and are senior judges. They are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of a selection panel. The Heads of Division are selected from the Lords Justices of Appeal, who are selected from the High Court judges.

Court of Appeal judges

Three women and seven men promoted to Court of Appeal



High Court Judges

High Court judges sit in the High Court and deal with the more complicated and difficult civil and criminal cases. They are appointed to either the Queen's Bench Division, the Family Division or the Chancery Division. They also sit with the Lord Justices to hear criminal appeals. The High Court consists of:

  • The Lord Chief Justice;

  • the President of the Queen's Bench Division;

  • the President of the Family Division;

  • the Chancellor of the High Court;

  • the Senior Presiding Judge;

  • the vice-president of the Queen’s Bench Division;

  • and the High Court judges

The High Court judges are addressed as 'the honourable', and referred to as 'Mr/Mrs Justice (Surname) '. They are sometimes referred to as puisne judges.

There are about 73 judges in the Queen's Bench Division, about 19 in the Family Division and another 18 in the Chancery Division.

High Court judges are sometimes known as “red judges” because of their bright robes, but they only wear these when dealing with criminal cases and they have a much more complicated code of dress than this!

The Lord Chancellor will make recommendations to the Queen for the appointment of High Court judges after a 'fair and open' competition which the Judicial Appointments Commission administers.

Potential High Court judges have to apply to the Judicial Appointments Commission.

High Court judges cannot be sacked, their rulings can be overturned by the Court of Appeal, but this would not lead to the High Court judge being dismissed.

High Court judges

High Court judges with poor judgment should stand down

JAC seeks first part-time High Court judge - LITIGATION FUTURES



Deputy High Court Judges.

Deputy High Court judges have the same qualifications criteria as High Court judges, they are appointed by the Lord Chancellor and must retire in the year they reach the age of 65.

Circuit judges and Recorders with relevant expertise to hear particular cases can be appointed to sit as deputies in the High Court by the Lord Chief Justice under section 9 of the Senior Courts Act 1981. This is not seen as an appointment to judicial office but a way of using resources in the best way.

House of Lords - Judicial Appointments - Constitution Committee

Deputy High Court Judges

Judicial Appointments Commission | Deputy High Court Judge ..



Circuit Judges

Circuit judges sit in the Crown Court and the County Courts within their particular region(of which there are seven). There are around 600 Circuit judges in England and Wales. Some Circuit judges may deal specifically with criminal or civil cases, others may have deal with public and/or private law family cases whereas some may specialise in Chancery or mercantile cases. Circuit judges can also sit in the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal. They hear trials in a county court for amounts in excess of £25,000.00.

They are addressed as 'His or Her Honour Judge (Surname)' and referred to as 'His or Her Honour'. They are sometimes referred to as "purple judges" because of their purple ceremonial dress robes.

They may sit as Deputy High Court judges and are below High Court judges but above District judges in the hierarchy.

Judicial Appointments Commission | Paula Tyler - Circuit Judge



District Judges County Court

District judges deal with most of the civil and family cases in the County Court they will also case-manage High Court cases in the district registries. They can hear cases in which the amount involved does not exceed £25,000.00.

They are appointed by the Queen following 'a fair and open competition' administered by the Judicial Appointments Commission. They will have a five year right of audience in relation to all proceedings in any part of the Supreme Court, or all proceedings in County Courts or Magistrates' courts. Applicants will usually have served as a Deputy District judge for two years or who have undertaken 30 sittings as a Deputy District judge. There are around 400 District judges.

When in open court District judges wear the civil robe introduced in October 2008, with blue tabs at the neck. They do not wear a wig

 

Deputy District Judge County Court

The jurisdiction of a Deputy District Judge is generally the same as that of a district judge sitting on a fee-paid basis in the County Courts and district registries of the High Court.

Deputy district judges are appointed by the Lord Chancellor following a 'fair and open competition' administered by the Judicial Appointments Commission. They are appointed initially for five years and will have a minimum of five years' right of audience in any part of the Supreme Court, or all proceedings in County Courts or Magistrates' courts. These are the same qualifications as those of a District judge. They retire at the age of 65.

All judges, when they are sworn in, must take two oaths/affirmations. The first is the oath of allegiance and the second the judicial oath; these are collectively referred to as the judicial oath.

Oaths

Judiciary

Deputy District Judge (Civil) - Judicial Appointments Commission


District Judges (Magistrates' Courts)

They hear criminal cases, youth cases and some civil cases in the magistrates' court and deal with the longer and more involved cases. They may also hear cases in the Family Proceedings Courts or deal with extradition proceedings and terrorist cases. Unlike magistrates who sit as a bench of three, District judges (Magistrates' Court) usually sit alone but, like magistrates, they are Justices of the Peace.

They are appointed by the Queen on the Lord Chancellor's recommendation following a fair and open competition administered by the Judicial Appointment Commission. They will have a seven-year right of audience in relation to all proceedings in any part of the Supreme Court, or all proceedings in county courts or magistrates' courts. They will also have served as Deputy District judges (Magistrates' Courts) for at least two years or 30 days' sittings.

When in court they do not usually wear robes.

 

Are professional judges better than lay magistrates?


Deputy District Judge (Magistrates' Courts)

Deputy District judges (Magistrates' Courts), like Deputy District judges in the County Court, sit on a fee-paid basis in the magistrates' courts. They have the same jurisdiction as the District judge (Magistrates' Courts) hearing criminal cases, youth cases and some civil cases in the magistrates' court and dealing with the longer and more involved cases. During their time as Deputy District judge (Magistrates' Courts) their performance is assessed by experienced District judges (Magistrates' Courts) who will offer them guidance and support.


They are appointed by the Lord Chancellor after a fair and open competition administered by the Judicial Appointments Commission. They are usually practising barristers and solicitors experienced in criminal law and procedure.

 

Judges, Tribunals and Magistrates | Court dress | Examples - Judiciary



 

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