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Judicial appointments in England and Wales

Judicial Office Court Number
Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (also known as Law Lords) House of Lords
Lord Justices of Appeal Court of Appeal
High Court Judges High Court of Justice
Circuit Judges Crown Court and County Court
Recorders Crown Court andCounty Court
District Judges (Civil) County Court
Deputy District judges (Civil) County Court
District Judges (also known as Stipendiary Magistrates) Magistrates' Court
Deputy District Judges Magistrates' Court


An Act of Parliament lays down the mandatory requirements for most judicial offices. Candidates must have practised as a lawyer or judge for a specified time and must meet other statutory requirements for specific posts. The hierarchical strtucture of the courts informs the process of selection to the Judiciary. Experience gained as a judge in a lower court is one of the qualifications for appointment to a higher court. Senior appointments to the Court of Appeal and the High Court are made by the Queen following the recommendation of the Prime Minister currently on the advice of the Lord Chancellor – a senior member of the government and head of the judicial system.

The training of judges

The Judicial Studies Board (JSB) is responsible for the training of judges, lay magistrates, and members of Tribunals in England and Wales. The JSB would normally organize the following for an appointee Recorder in the Crown Court: an induction course; visits to penal establishments, for example prison and young offender institutions; meetings with personnel from the Probation Service, which deals with criminals, often young offenders, who are not sent to prison unless they reoffend, but who are under the supervision of a probation officer.

The appointee would experience a period of sitting in on the Bench - the judge's area of the Court - with a Circuit Judge. In his first week after appointment he would be supervised by aCircuit judge. Practical guidelines for judges are set out in Bench Books.

Civil courts: sentencing and court orders

Judges in civil courts can fine, commit to imprisonment [normally between 18 days and six months) or give a suspended sentence - where imprisonment does not take place unless the offender commits another offence. An applicant can seek an injunction - an order - against a respondent. The court may grant an interim injunction, that is, a temporary one, to stop the defendant from doing something before the hearing of the application. The judge can grant or refuse an injunction against a legal person to do or not do specified acts. The judge can, alternatively, require an undertaking, or promise, from the relevant party at the hearing proceedings.


Match the judicial offices in the box with the requited qualifications below (1-4). Bear in mind the hierarchical structure of the courts.


Lord of Appeal in Ordinary Circuit Judge Lord Justice of Appeal District Judge (Magistrates' Court)


1 must have been qualified as a lawyer for at least seven years

2 must have been qualified for ten years, although three years' service as a full-time District Judge is allowed

3 must have been qualified as a lawer for at least 15 years and is usually drawn from judges in the Courts of Appeal in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and in the Court of Session in Scotland

4 the statutory qualification is at least ten years in the High Court as a lawyer and, in practice, tо be a High Court Judge


Complete the definitions.

1 - collective word for a group of judges and the name of the place

where a judge sits in court.

2 - formal collective word for all the judges in the legal system.

3 - the specific post of a judge [for example, a High

Court Judge).

4 - place where people are held as a punishment when convicted of

an offence.

3. Complete the sentences.

1 Judges may make a first sentence for a non-serious offence a................ sentence.

2 The period of............... awarded by the judge should reflect the number and seriousness of the offences and their context.

3 A person who seeks an Injunction is generally described as the............

4 Instead of ordering a specific act, the court can seek the agreement of the relevant party to an............. to do the specified act.

5 An applicant may seek an.............. to prevent a breach of contract.

6 If an applicant claims that the defendant is about to do something that infringes his/her rights before there can be a hearing (for example, to dispose of disputed property), the judge may grant an.................






The table below gives the names of some types of crimes together with their associated verbs and the name of the person who commits the crimes.


crime definition criminal verb
theft   stealing something thief   steal
pickpocketing   Stealing things from people’s pockets in crowded places pickpocket steal
shoplifting   stealing something from a shop   shoplifter Shoplift  
burglary   stealing from someone's home   Burglar   burgle  
mugging attacking and robbering people in the street mugger mug
robbery   breaking into houses or other building to steal robber   rob    
car theft   stealing a car car thief   steal a car  
joyriding   driving around for enjoyment in a car you have stolen joyrider joyride  
murder killing someone murderer murder
manslaughter killing someone undeliberately murderer murder
assassination murdering for political reason or reward assassin murder
smuggling taking something illegally into another country   smuggler smuggle
arson setting fire to something in a criminal way   arsonist Set fire to
kidnapping taking a person hostage in exchange for money or other favours kidnapper kidnap
blackmail Treating to disclose some information in exchange for money blackmailer blackmail
drug-pushing/dealing selling drugs drug-pusher/dealer sell drugs
terrorism   terrorist terrorize
vandalism causing damage to property deliberately vandal vandalize
hijacking hiding on a ship or plane hijacker hijack
hooliganism Causing damage or disturbance in public places hooligan hooliganism


1. What do we call...?

1 a person who steals cars?

2 a person who kills someone?

3 a person who steals things from shops?

4 a person who robs people's houses and flats?

5 a person who attacks someone in the street and steals their money?

6 a person who sells dangerous drugs?


2. Choose two of these expressions to complete each sentence below:

a. serious b. illegal c. crime d. violent e. criminal offence f. commit a crime g. against the law h. break the law


1 Young men are more likely to _______ / _________ than any other group in society.

2 In most countries carrying a gun is ___________ / ____________.

3 In most countries drink driving is a _________ / ___________.

4 Latest figures show that _______ /________ crime, such as murder and rape, is on the increase.



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