JAC – a change to the application process.
CANDIDATES MUST REGISTER FOR COMBINED QUALIFYING TEST BY 5 MAY
The way in which candidates apply for judicial posts in 2020 is changing. The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) has announced that it will be running a single Combined Qualifying Test (CQT) in June 2020 as the first stage of three large selection exercises for fee-paid judges:
- Deputy District Judge (Civil)
- Fee-paid Judge of the First-tier Tribunal
- Fee-paid Judge of the Employment Tribunal of England and Wales
In a change to the process used last year, the CQT will take place before candidates fill in their full application form.
If you wish to apply for one or more of these roles, you will need to register for the CQT before 5 May 2020, and express which role(s) you are interested in applying for. You may apply for all three.
The JAC will not run another qualifying test for these roles until 2021, so if you are interested in any of the three roles, you must register by 5 May. If you do not register for this test, you will not be able to apply for any of the above roles this year.
To register, all you need to do is provide your personal details and indicate which role(s) you wish to apply for. The CQT will take place in June 2020 and results from the test will be used to shortlist candidates for the next selection stage of each specific role.
We are informed that if you are successful in both the CQT and next-stage qualifying test, you will then be invited to complete a full application when the exercise for the role you are applying for opens later in the year. Please note that although there is one CQT, there will be two separate exercises meaning you will need to apply for each exercise separately (Fee-paid Judge of the First-tier Tribunal and Fee-paid Judge of the Employment Tribunal of England and Wales will run as one exercise).
Completing one CQT means you get the opportunity to apply for up to three roles without having to take multiple tests for each. You are not required to submit a full application at the start of the process; only shortlisted candidates will be invited to do this at a later stage.
Time line for application process
Call to Action
Although a recent report published by Justice, “Increasing Judicial Diversity: An Update” pointed to a stagnation in the appointment of BAME judges, SAL urges all BAME practitioners with the requisite qualifications and experience to give serious consideration to applying for these judicial posts.
Despite there being an increase in BAME applicants for recently advertised judicial posts, this has not translated into appointments of BAME judges. SAL is working with the JAC to try to better understand the reasons for the reported stagnation and to work on ways to address that. We will keep you informed of any progress we make.
For further information about the CQT and the roles being advertised, please visit the Judicial Appointments Commission website.
Read a short review of our event “Diversity & the Judiciary” held on 22 November 2017.
Ranjit Sond is President of the Society of Asian Lawyers and lawyer at Government Legal Department.