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Your journey to becoming a magistrate

Picture of female magistrate with text: Learn how you can be successful in your journey to becoming a magistrate.

Interested in becoming a magistrate, but need guidance? Here is everything you need to know about the application process and what comes next.

Find a vacancy

You can find all our latest vacancies.

When looking for a vacancy, you must apply for one in either the area you live or work in. If your area is not currently recruiting, you can register your interest by completing a form to be the first to hear about upcoming vacancies. You must submit two separate forms if you are interested in both family and criminal court. 

Applications are split into two areas; either family court or criminal court.

Application process

All applications are completed online unless exceptional circumstances apply. You can request a hard copy or braille version by contacting your local Advisory Committee.  

You need to fill in all boxes within the application form including your personal information, eligibility, employment history, character questions and references.  

All applications are assessed against five key attributes. Make yourself familiar with these in advance to help improve your chances of being successful in your interview.

Interview process

If your application is successful, you will be invited to a virtual interview on Microsoft Teams by email. You will be able to choose a date and time to suit you.  

Interviews are usually carried out by two to three people who are magistrate and non-magistrate Advisory Committee members. Advisory Committees are made up of magistrate and non-magistrate volunteers who review applications, interview candidates, and recommend applicants for the Senior Presiding Judge’s final approval. Advisory Committee members work on behalf of the Lord Chancellor. The interview will last around 60-75 minutes. Check out our tips and advice on preparing for your interview.  

After the interview, you will be informed about the outcome by email. This can take several months, as Advisory Committees will conduct interviews with the entire cohort of candidates before issuing the outcomes. If you are successful, you will be subject to some final pre-appointment checks.   

Unfortunately, not all applicants will be successful, but you can request feedback.  

What happens next?

Ahead of becoming a magistrate, you will undergo a number of final checks. This includes a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, to confirm that you don’t have any convictions that would disqualify you from sitting as a magistrate. This stage can take several months, as all applications must be thoroughly reviewed, and all necessary checks carried out.  

If you pass the final checks, you will be recommended for appointment. 

Become a magistrate

If becoming a magistrate sounds like something you are interested in, check for availability in your area.

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