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Introduction To JWSS

“There is no substitute for sitting with a judge when trying to assess if judicial office would be of interest.” A participant

The Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme gives eligible legal practitioners who are considering a career in judicial office an insight into the work of a judge. Shadowing can cover any aspect of a judge’s work, both in and out of court.

Eligible legal practitioners now have the option to shadow a judge, either remotely or face to face. They can spend up to two days observing the work both in and out of court, of a judge of their choice from all jurisdictions, including but not limited to the following:

  • High Court Judge
  • High Court Master/Insolvency & Companies Court Judge/Cost Judge
  • Circuit Judge
  • District Judge (civil or family)
  • District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts)
  • Tribunal Judge (including Judge of the First-tier or Upper Tribunal and the Employment Tribunal)

If you would like to shadow any other judge then please contact the team to see if this can be arranged. We endeavour to match you with a judge of your choice however, this is not always possible due to lack of resources.

The shadowing does not have to be on consecutive days and must be completed within six months of dates being agreed between you and the judge.

All participants are required to sign a declaration to confirm they have a genuine interest in judicial appointment, and accept they are prohibited from disclosing any facts or information about the cases after the shadowing is completed.

Due to the increasing popularity of the scheme, it can take some time for the placement to be arranged. Please consider this when applying. If you are considering applying for a forthcoming judicial appointments selection exercise, it is wise to apply for shadowing as early as possible. We cannot guarantee that a placement will be arranged within a certain time-frame since this largely depends on the judge’s availability. Alternatively, you may wish to consider sitting in a public hearing, while considering an application for judicial appointment.

The scheme is administered centrally by the Judicial Office and supported by His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service.

You may also be interested in the Law Commissioner Diversity Work Shadowing Scheme.

External links

Apply Online – Online application form

Find Application support online