Pre-Application Judicial Education Programme (PAJE)

paje logo

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:

  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic 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.

How to apply

We will be running three virtual discussion group courses, with dates outlined below.

Each discussion group course consists of four judge-led workshops, each lasting for two hours, either held on a weekly or fortnightly basis. One of the courses (Course 1) will hold their final workshop in person, with details outlined below.

You will also have to attend an IT Tech Support session prior to the course beginning.

Course 1: Monday 11 March, Monday 18 March, Monday 25 March, Tuesday 2 April, from 5.30-7.30pm. IT support session: Monday 4 March, from 5-6pm.

The final workshop on Tuesday 02 April will be held in person, at the Bar Council office: 289–293 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7HZ.

Course 2: Tuesday 5 March, Tuesday 12 March, Monday 18 March and Tuesday 2 April, from 5.30-7.30pm. IT support session: Friday 1 March, from 12.30–1.30pm.

Course 3: Wednesday 13 March, Wednesday 20 March, Wednesday 27 March and Wednesday 3 April, from 5.30-7.30pm. IT support session: Wednesday 6 March, from 5-6pm.

The application window will close at 11.59pm on 12 February. Any applications submitted after that will not be reviewed.

To apply, please fill out the programme application form – Winter Spring 2024 at (external link).

If you have any queries, please contact