Everyone has unique aspirations in life, with individuals aiming for diverse professions such as doctors, engineers, and, for some, judges. This guide is dedicated to anyone who has been tirelessly searching online for reliable information on how to become a judge.
If you aspire to serve your country by stepping into the esteemed role of a judge, you first need to complete the necessary educational journey. This begins with acquiring a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) following your 12th grade. However, don’t worry if you’re already a graduate, you’re still eligible to pursue this degree.
Once you’ve earned your LLB, keep an eye out for recruitments for judges announced by your state government. Only after passing the provided examination can you, then, embark on your desired career as a judge. Always remember, How to Become a Judge attaining this role requires dedication, tenacity, and continual learning.
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Who is a judge?
The judge, often referred to as the guardian of the Constitution, carries the responsibility to preside over court proceedings. This role involves hearing both witness testimonies and arguments from both parties involved, diligently examining presented evidence. After considering all aspects, a judge should make a fair determination based on constitutional principles. The primary duty of a judge is to dispense justice impartially, whether presiding alone or during a court session.
How to Become a Judge? | How Do you Become a Judge?
Becoming a judge involves a step-by-step process, which will generally look like this:
- Obtain a law degree
- Gain legal practice experience
- Appear for Judicial Service Examination
Step 1: Obtain a Law Degree
The first step toward becoming a judge is to earn a law degree. You can choose to pursue a five-year integrated law program (B.A. LL.B, B.Sc. LL.B, or BBA LL.B) after completing your 10+2, or you can enroll in a three-year LL.B program after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. You must ensure that the law degree you obtain is approved by the Bar Council of India (BCI).
Step 2: Gain Legal Practice Experience
After obtaining a law degree, aspiring judges are required to register with the State Bar Council and obtain the necessary certifications to practice law. You will need to gain legal experience through internships, working in lower courts, or as an advocate under a senior lawyer. Acquiring minimum legal practice experience of three years is a requirement in most states in India.
Step 3: Appear for Judicial Service Examination
The Judicial Service Examination (JSE) is the key to a career as a judge in India. The examination is conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) or High Court in each state. The JSE is divided into two or three stages: the preliminary examination, the main examination, and viva-voce (personality test/interview).
The preliminary examination is an objective-type screening test. It is designed to assess the general knowledge, aptitude, and understanding of the laws of the candidates. Candidates who clear the preliminary examination move on to the main examination.
The main examination is tailored to assess the candidate’s in-depth knowledge of various laws and comprises subjective-type questions. Candidates are expected to provide well-structured and analytical answers.
Candidates who successfully pass the main examination are required to appear for an interview or the viva-voce round. This personality test assesses the candidate’s general knowledge, response to current affairs, ethics, and mental alertness. The final selection of the candidates is made based on their performance in all stages of the JSE.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Judge?
The time taken to become a judge varies depending on the individual’s background and professional experience. If you have enrolled in a five-year integrated law program after completing 10+2, it will take at least 8 years, including 3 years of legal practice, before you become eligible to appear for the Judicial Service Examination.
If you have a bachelor’s degree in a different discipline, you will need to complete a three-year LL.B program and then acquire 3 years of legal practice, making it a total of approximately 6 years to be eligible for the examinations.
Age and Qualification to become a Judge
- The candidate must possess Indian citizenship.
- An LLB degree from an accredited university is mandatory for the applicant.
- Fundamental understanding and knowledge of the Constitution are crucial.
- The candidate must uphold good moral character.
- The applicant’s age must be at least 21 years.
How are Judges Jecruited?
The State High Court and Public Service Commission conduct the recruitment of judges through the Judicial Service Examination. This comprehensive examination progresses in three stages: the Preliminary Exam, the Mains, and the Interview.
As an aspiring judge, your journey starts with the preliminary exam. This exam is divided into two compulsory objective type papers. The first paper carries 150 marks with an allotted time of 2 hours. The second paper further tests your knowledge with 300 marks also completed within a 2-hour time frame. Successful completion of the preliminary examination propels you into eligibility for the main examination.
After qualifying in the preliminary round, you proceed to the main examination which consists of five required papers. Each paper, equally weighing 200 marks each, is to be completed within a strict timeframe of 3 hours. Clearing the main examination paves the way to your interview stage.
The final stage is the interview round. Upon its conclusion, a merit list is compiled, taking into consideration the marks earned and candidate eligibility. A position on this list confirms your successful selection into the judicial roles.
What is the Salary of a Judge?
The salary of a judge in India varies according to their level of designation and experience. The starting salary for a Civil Judge (Junior Division) or Judicial Magistrate ranges from INR 27,000/- to INR 44,770/- per month. As promoted to higher designations, such as Senior Division Civil Judge, the salary increases up to INR 50,490 per month. High Court and Supreme Court Judges enjoy higher pay scales that reach up to INR 2,50,000 per month, plus additional benefits.
What is the power of a Judge?
A decision has the potential to either improve or ruin someone’s life. In such circumstances, it’s crucial for a judge to remain impartial and deliver justice by effectively utilizing their power. Although judges possess several powers, the main aspects are as follows:
- Judicial Independence
- Issuing Orders and Warrants
- Interpretation and Enforcement of Laws
- Case Management
Becoming a Judge is not only a lucrative career choice but also a highly prestigious and fulfilling one. Earning a law degree, gaining legal practice experience, and successfully passing the Judicial Service Examination are the essential steps to embark on this challenging journey. As you progress through the ranks and acquire more experience, you are rewarded with increased responsibilities, respect, and, of course, a higher salary.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Become a Judge?
How do I become a civil judge?
To become a civil judge, you typically need a law degree and to pass the respective country or state’s civil services examination. Gain experience in the legal field, and then apply for the entrance examination or the judiciary service exam conducted by the respective Public Service Commission.
What is the process to become a District Judge?
To become a District Judge, candidates must have several years of experience as an advocate or as a lower court judge. Next, pass the local judicial services examination or fulfill eligibility criteria through direct recruitment or promotion as per the rules of the respective country or state.
How can I become a High Court judge?
High Court judges are appointed based on merit and experience. You must possess a strong legal background, usually with 10+ years of experience as a judicial officer, advocate, or law professor. The selection process may vary depending on the country, often involving a judicial collegium or commission.
What are the requirements to become a Supreme Court judge?
To become a Supreme Court judge, candidates must have a distinguished legal career, including a minimum of 5-10 years as a High Court judge or an eminent jurist. Appointments are made by the country’s President or Prime Minister after careful evaluation on the recommendation of the Chief Justice and other legal authorities.