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Judge or Sheriff

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Judges or sheriffs preside over a court of law in civil, criminal or appeal cases – and make judgements based on the evidence presented.

A sheriff acts as a judge in one of the 39 Sheriff Courts in Scotland. They deal with a variety of civil and criminal cases leading to a sentence of up to five years or a fine.

Summary Sheriffs were introduced to Scottish courts in 2016. They are restricted in the cases they oversee.

A higher court judge (Law Lord or Lady) presides over: Court of Session (the highest civil court) in Edinburgh, Court of Appeal (with two other judges) and the High Court of the Justiciary (the highest criminal court where sentences of over five years can be imposed).

The Work

You could be:

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

The salary for a sheriff is £137,538 a year and £148,526 for sheriff principals (April 2018). The salary for a summary sheriff is £108,171 a year. High Court judges are on a salary of £185,197 (Outer House) and £210,876 (Inner House) a year (April 2018).

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2019
896
0.1 %
RISE
2024
897
  United Kingdom
2019
19443
0.2 %
RISE
2024
19485

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What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You need to have:

Training

For details of initial training required, see the job profiles for Advocate or Solicitor.

Judicial training in Scotland is overseen by the Judicial Institute for Scotland. There is a compulsory induction training programme for newly appointed judicial officers within a year of appointment.

For the session 2018/19, eligible full and part time students studying the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (PEAT 1) can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. You start repaying the loan once you are earning more than £18,330. (This will rise to £25.000 from April 2021).

In addition, eligible full time students can apply for a living cost loan of up to £4,500. Repayment conditions are the same as for the tuition fee loan. See the Student Awards Agency Scotland website for full details.

Getting On

More Information

You will find more information about applying for appointment as a judge or sheriff on the website of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Faculty of Advocates
Tel: 0131 226 5071
E-mail: info@advocates.org.uk
Website: http://www.advocates.org.uk/
Twitter: @FacultyScot

Judiciary of Scotland
Website: http://www.scotland-judiciary.org.uk/1/0/Home
Twitter: @JudgesScotland

Law Society of Scotland
Tel: 0131 226 7411
E-mail: lawscot@lawscot.org.uk
Website: http://www.lawscot.org.uk/
Website (2): http://www.lawscotjobs.co.uk
Twitter: @lawscotjobs
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheLawSocietyofScotland

Lawscot Jobs is the recruitment website from the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.

Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service
Tel: 0131 444 3300
E-mail: enquiries@scotcourts.gov.uk
Website: http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk
Twitter: @SCTScourtstribs

Skills for Justice
Tel: 0117 922 1155
Website: http://www.sfjuk.com/
Twitter: @Skills_Justice
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skillsforjustice

Skills for Justice is the Sector Skills Council for the Justice, Community Safety and Legal Services Sectors. The careers section of their website holds information on the careers within these sectors.

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