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Pre-Application Judicial Education Programme (PAJE)

The Pre-Application Judicial Education (PAJE) programme launched in April 2019.

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. 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:

  • All people from ethnic minority background lawyers
  • Women lawyers
  • Lawyers with disabilities and/or solicitors and chartered legal executives (both with a litigation and non-litigation background)
  • Those from a non-litigation background including academic and non-practising barristers 

– applications to join the discussion group courses will be prioritised for those individuals.

Q&A with District Tribunal Judges Marianne Bennett and Rhiannon Price

In this Q&A with the Law Society, the judges talk about their judicial careers, why they became PAJE facilitators, why more solicitors should consider applying for the PAJE judge-led workshops and provide top tips for those considering a judicial application.

How to apply

The application round for candidates wishing to apply to join a virtual judge-led discussion group course for the Winter/Spring round opens on Monday 13 December. Please see the link below to download the application form.

Completed application forms should be submitted to by no later than 23:59 on Monday 10 January 2022. Any applications received after this time will not be accepted. Candidates will be notified week commencing 31 January as to whether or not they have been successful in securing a place on one of the three virtual discussion group courses.

If you have any queries, please contact