Pre-Application Judicial Education Programme (PAJE)

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

It helps lawyers from under-represented groups who are interested in becoming a judge to feel more confident about applying and to prepare for the process.

PAJE is the first joint initiative of the Judicial Diversity Forum, which is made up of the Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), the Bar Council, the Law Society of England and Wales and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

All of the forum members believe the judiciary should become more representative of society as a whole. So they’re committed to supporting people from diverse backgrounds who want to apply for judicial roles.

Anyone who's interested in becoming a judge can use the PAJE online resources but they're particularly aimed at people who are under-represented in the judiciary, for example:

  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic lawyers
  • women lawyers
  • lawyers with disabilities
  • lawyers from a non-litigation background

PAJE online resources

There are 10 videos covering topics including:

  • the skills you need to be a judge
  • decision-making
  • judicial ethics
  • resilience
  • equality and diversity

There are also four podcasts with information about PAJE:

  1. Appointments
  2. Judicial conduct
  3. Roles and structure
  4. Rule of law and separation of power

When you’ve watched the videos you can apply to join a discussion group course led by a judge

Discussion group courses

The discussion groups, led by a judge, look at:

  • the skills and experience you’ll need to become a judge
  • how you can demonstrate those skills to meet the JAC competency framework

Space on the courses is limited, so the majority of places are reserved for people who are under-represented in the judiciary.

Find out more about judge-led discussion groups and how to apply

Other resources 

The Guide to Judicial Conduct assists judges, coroners and magistrates on their conduct. 

The Equal Treatment Bench Book increases awareness and understanding of the different circumstances of people appearing in courts and tribunals. 

Case studies from PAJE attendees

How the PAJE course helped me prepare my judicial application

A winding road to the judiciary – Nicola Chandler

Advice from the course facilitators

Reflecting and serving society as a judge – Carol Taylor

Human justice: practical learning as a tribunal judge – Paul Shaerf

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

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