Vines Legal Logo

Vines Legal Limited

Matrimonial & Family Law Specialists

Progressive • Dedicated • Persistent

Call today for your free initial, no obligation, consultation on 01246 555 610 for immediate, friendly and professional advice.

Welcome to our Alphabet Information Series. Today’s topic is J for Judges.

Next Post

Welcome to our Alphabet Information Series.  Today’s topic is J for Judges.


What is a judge?

A judge is a person who oversees Court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a panel of judges. The judge conducts the trial impartially and, typically, in an open court (save for Family Law matters). The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the barristers or solicitors of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury.


Different Types Of Family Law Judges In The UK

When your family law matter reaches Court, your case will be heard by a judge or a bench of Magistrates. The type of judiciary you face will depend on the type of court where your case is being heard. Generally, family cases are heard in the County Court or a Magistrates Court, and will either be heard by a District Judge, Circuit Judge, Bench of Magistrates and/or a Legal Advisor.


Magistrates, or Justices of the Peace, are members of the local community without legal background or knowledge who sit in the Magistrates’ court. They bring a broad experience of life to the bench, working part-time. Justices of the Peace receive support in court from Legal Advisers and cannot hear cases without one. They must sit for at least 26 half-days a year.


District Judges are legally qualified and sit alone in Court without a legal adviser. District Judges hear the longer and more complex cases which come before the Court. They do not normally wear robes in Court. District Judges are full-time judges who deal with the majority of cases in the County Court. In the Family Court, District Judges hear most of the cases involving the division of family assets and, along with the Circuit Judges, they also hear the cases involving children. They preside over a wide a range of family and civil law cases such as divorces, child proceedings and domestic violence injunctions.


Deputy District Judges are part-time and sit in the County Courts and District Registries of the High Court for between 15 and 50 days a year. In general their jurisdiction is the same as that of a District Judge. 


Recorders are a type of judicial officeholder who sit in both Crown and County Courts. They are solicitors or barristers with at least ten years practice before these Courts. Their jurisdiction is broadly similar to that of a Circuit Judge, but they generally handle less complex or serious matters coming before the court. Appointments are made for five years, and Recorders normally sit for between 15 and 30 days a year.


Circuit Judges are appointed to one of the six circuits in England and Wales, and sit in the Crown and County Courts within their particular region. Some Circuit Judges deal specifically with criminal or civil cases, while others are authorised to hear public and/or private law family cases.


There are also High Court Judges who can be assigned to the Family Division. Finally there are Judges of the Court of Appeal, senior judges, who hear both criminal and civil appeals which have been referred up to them from other Courts.


By Administrator on 15 Oct 2019, 12:06 PM

Why choose Vines Legal?

Request a Callback

See if we can help...