How to Become a Judge in Australia


A judge oversees a courtroom and delivers decisions based on his legal knowledge. In a criminal court, a judge determines or helps others determine whether a person is guilty of a crime, and prescribes the appropriate punishment for a guilty person. In a civil court, a judge hears evidence from two parties and decides who is right and wrong in the disputes. A judge might also preside over a family court or an appeal court. Competition for the position is tight, but a judge has job security and an earning potential of up to $300,000.

  • Obtain a Bachelor of Law degree from a university. You will need to meet the entry requirements of your chosen university to enter the program. Depending on the university, a law degree course might take four to five years to compete.

  • Practice law for a minimum of eight years. An average judge has practiced for 20 years or more before receiving his appointment. Judges often have worked in litigation as barristers. According to a speech presented at the Judicial Conference of Australia in 2003, this is because no formal legal training and development program exists for new judges, and solicitors and law teachers lack familiarity with procedures in the courtroom.

  • Network with judges and lawyers, establishing your reputation as an outstanding legal practitioner. When the government requires a new judge, government officials will consult existing judges and legal professionals for advice. If you are nominated and eventually selected for appointment, you can become a judge.

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