How to become a Court Judge, Magistrate (District Court)|Roadmap

 

Being a court judge is like to reach up at the top of legal law system (guardian of laws). A judge is a top person (most honourable) in the courtroom.

If you are a kind of person who wants to be a part of the judicial public services, this article “How to become a court judge “is for you. Here you got every aspect of being a judge and the step-by-step procedure of becoming a court judge from the beginning (12th) to end (Judge).

Before further proceeding this article you must confront yourself and ask this question. Are you really have an inclination towards becoming a judge, then you must be passionate about it. Because you are going to face lots of hard time until you reach the endpoint (judge).

The two things you should remember before following judiciary as a career option


[1] This career path would not be productive for you until and unless you have dedication. Why? As you know the court is a part of the government of India so the judge. Therefore we have to pass an exam regulated by the government of India (GOI) to get appointed as a judge. The exam you are going to face is definitely not going to easy. But not impossible to clear. The details of the exam are down below.

[2] Patience to reach the goal: Generally appointed as a court judge takes lit bit more time than other available career options (a2z) but the end result you would get is overwhelming. Thus you have to be patient to achieve the desired goal. More or less it will take 5-to-7 years to get appointed as a court judge and magistrate.     

Hey, Guys, my motive is not going to intimidate you but I am sharing the truth which you have to face anyhow if you are opting judge career path and you have to prepare for it.

That does not mean you can’t become a court judge. It 110% possible you can become an honourable court judge even one day Chief Justice of India (CJI).  The thing you need is to remember the above two mentioned point and keep it in a positive way.

Judiciary can be a worthwhile option you need to be patient over the time period of becoming a court judge and keep motivating yourself in that duration.

 

Is there any difference between a court Judge and Magistrate?


The judge and magistrate terms are often used interchangeably and therefore it seems correlated to each other. But they are not the same terms from the law perspective.

According to the judiciary system, both have a huge difference. A judge is holding more administrative authorities and power than a magistrate.

Judge: As being a court judge you to have to hear litigations and attribution of all types of cases (major, minor, constitutional, criminal cases etc.) and provide the solution (verdict) on those cases.

Magistrate: Generally a magistrate mostly handling minor cases in the court. A magistrate meant to sit only at district level Subordinate Courts.

One thing can be noted commonly in both of profession that is they are part of the judiciary system and both have authority and responsibility to verdict the case and provide justice to case victims.  That is the reason behind creating confusion in our smart brain. And both appear to be the same personality.

 

What are the primary Education required to become a Court Judge 


To become a judge in the court first and foremost you must have a degree in law, LLB (Bachelor of laws).

In previous days to become a lawyer you just had one simple academic course option to choose that is BA LLB. But nowadays students have multiple options to choose among the LLB integrated course program.

You have two option to pursue LLB degree program, i.e. to become a lawyer you have two separate paths, so either of the one you can choose based on the current qualification you have. For more details about these two vis-à-vis LLB degree option click here.

Am I have to do Masters and PhD in law to become a court judge and magistrate?

No! You really don’t require Masters or the PhD degree to become a Magistrate and Judge. However, if you want to enhance your knowledge in the various kind of laws then you should!

But generally no masters and PhD degree required to get elected for any district or state level judicial service examination.

 

What is Judicial Service Examination all about?


If you want to sit on the chair of a judge just after getting completed LLB degree (without any prior experience) you have to compete judicial service exam like every judicial service aspirant does. There is no better option than this to accomplish a judicial office at a district level.

And unfortunately, judicial service exam is the only way to become a district or Subordinate Court judge as a being a fresher. 

Judicial Service Exam conducted under the regulations of State Public Service Commission.

Every state has their own judicial exam to fulfil the vacant seats of judges and magistrate in a district level court. List of each State Judicial Service Exam

As you are fresher and perhaps don’t have any prior experience in litigation and judicial services. Therefore you have to start your career as a judge from the low-level judiciary, i.e. from district level judge.      

Let’s understand, what is the designation you got after passing these Lower level Judicial Service Examination? For that first and foremost, you have to know the hierarchy of India Judicial system.

 

Indian Judicial System Hierarchy


Indian Judiciary system function in three-tier structure, consist of Supreme Court, High Court, and Subordinate Court; correspondingly National, State, and District level courts.

Indian Judicial System Hierarchy

The court on top of the hierarchy has got more constitutional power and authorities than the below-positioned court. Higher court does supervisory over the lower level courts.

This article motive is to give information about “How to become a Court Judge” without any prior experience in litigations and judiciary. And without any experience, you can’t go to High Court and Supreme Court, so our only option is Subordinate Court.

If you want to know how to become a High Court and Supreme Court Judge, refer these two below articles for your further career path.

Related: How to become a High Court judge

What are the eligibility criteria to appoint as a Supreme Court judge?

Ok so let’s understand some important points about Subordinate Courts and the hierarchy within these district-level courts.

 

Subordinate Courts / District Court Hierarchy in India


The Courts at a district level and below known as Subordinate Court which regulates under the High Court of the State. Because Subordinate Courts are placed at the bottom of the three-tier hierarchy of Indian judicial system, it also called Lower Courts.

Subordinate Courts District Court Hierarchy in India

Revenue Court: As the name implies itself, this subordinate court in district level deals with revenue. So revenue court is responsible to calculate and collect the record of income (revenue) generated and distributed (under the government rules and regulation) in a district.

Civil Court: This subordinate court deal with the civil cases like marriage, divorce, land, property and all the cases without any criminal offence.

Session Court/ Criminal Court: District Session Court hears the criminal cases such as murder, robbery, and any other criminal activities.

The main concern courts for you as an aspirant of judicial services is; Civil and Session Court because these are the two courts where you would get appointed after clearing Judicial Service Exam.

 

The Position/ Designation after passing Judicial Service Examination


Designation of Judges in Civil Court (Descending Order)

  • District and Sessions Judge/ District Judge (Chief Judge)
  • Additional District and Sessions Judge/ Additional District Judge
  • Sub Judge

Why I mention District and Session Judge as a single designation. Because sometimes (most cases), you will find the same judge is responsible to handle the civil matters and as well as criminal matters. That’s why judges in district court are designated with District and Session judge.

Designation of Judges in Session Court (Descending Order)

  • Session Judge (Chief Judge)
  • Additional Session Judge
  • Chief Judicial Magistrate/ Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC)
  • Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate
  • Metropolitan Magistrate
  • Judicial Magistrate Second Class (JMSC)

Thus these are the designation you will get after passing judicial service examination; Except District judge and Session judge.

A District and Session judge are the top judges (Chief Judge of a District Court) in a Subordinate Court. Therefore if you want to reach the top of the district-level judiciary, you required some years of experience in the judiciary.

 

How to become a District and Session Judge 


To obtain the highest position in the Subordinate Court you have to fulfil some requirements.

The eligibility criteria to become a District and Session judge are following…

  • He should have been an advocate or pleader for at least 7 years
  • The person should not be in the service of any state or central government, i.e. applicant should not have any government jobs.
  • He should be recommended by HC judge (Distinguished Advocate).

 

Who Appoint Subordinate Court / District judges?


Appointment of District and Session judges is done by the Governor of the state after consultation with High Court Chief Justice of the concerned state.

The appointment of other judges in a district court (Except District and Session Judge) by the Governor of the state after consultation with that state public service commission and the High Court. 

 

What are the Skills set a Court Judge/ magistrate should possess?


As we know a judge is the most respected and honourable person in the courtroom. But do you know what are the qualities made him a different from others officers of laws?

Sat on the top chair of the court is not an easy task to achieve. For this, you need to develop some qualities and you have to be worth it to sit on that honourable chair of the court. 

These are the 5 major skills set a Judge must have… 

Responsibility: A judge should know what they are doing by adhering the laws mentioned in the constitution. Maintain the modesty and dignity of the chair you are sitting. In a democracy, if the judge is corrupt (i.e. if Judge doesn’t know the responsibilities of the position which he/she get in the judiciary system) then where the citizen/public go for justice. So it is really important for a judge and magistrate to know what he/she is responsible for.

Analytical: Being a Judge, you must possess the analysing skill. Because you have to examine lots of documents during a day. So as an active judge of the court, you interpret the evidence/documents submitted by prosecutors. And check the authenticity of the evidence in a short period of time, as a judge, you have to proceed lots of hearings. 

Sense of justice: As far as the justice is concerned a Judge do make verdicts on the basis of evidence followed by legal laws in the constitution. No emotional judgment can be given by the honourable court judge. Courts proceed the case on behalf of the evidence provided by the prosecutor.

Good listening and communication skills: This is the skills set a judge and magistrate use most of the time during case proceeding. So be prepared from now to develop listening and communication skills. At the courtroom, you have to focus on each and every word of the prosecutor and other case-related facts. Because no one is going to repeat it again and again. 

Patience: Why Patience? Suppose you have to hear arguments of many people all day long on different perspective but all about is an injustice. Definitely, this not seems to be easy to sit on the chair of justice and listen to all arguments actively and patiently.

So these are some quality and skills set you will gonna need if you want to become a court judge and magistrate. You definitely need to achieve the above-listed quality to sit on the chair of justice.

Related: How to become a Lawyer in Supreme Court of India 

 

How to become a Court Judge (Judicial Magistrate) [Just 2 Steps] No experience


[Step 1] Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

First, you have to become a lawyer (not the prosecutor), you just need a bachelor’s degree to follow the further steps. Know more about the lawyer career path. Bachelor’s degree in law is mandatory for any legal and legislation related services.

After getting a degree in law (LLB), you have two segregate pathways. There are two separate ways to achieve the goal of becoming a court judge. You can choose any of them based on the preference and education you had.

Get the whole process of becoming an advocate (legal practitioner)

[Step 2] Judicial Service Exam

In order to become a judge you have to compete for judicial service exam, this is the only way to start your career journey as a judge. You don’t require any prior experience to get eligible for the Judicial Service Exam.

For the syllabus, the pattern of questions and other related details about judicial service exam click here.

That’s it, you only have to go through with the above two steps. After successfully getting complete these two steps you can finally become part of Indian Judicial System.

 

What does a Court Judge do? (Job Description)


These are the most common duties of a judge in a courtroom, perhaps you already knew some of the points.

  • As a court judge, you have to ensure all the tribunal process under the circumstances of the laws and trial & hearing should be conducted fairly.
  • They make sure all the issue related to the case is covered during the case hearing.
  • Check the authenticity of evidence provided during the litigation process.
  • During the case procedure and trials, a judge needs to make sure that questions are valid and appropriate to the case. If not then object the questioning party, like you had seen in the movies judge always use to say order-order.
  • Adjudicate the case without any impartiality.
  • As holding the top position in the court, they are responsible to maintain all the law and order in the courtroom. 

In a courtroom a judge act as an empire which is neutral on both sides (accused and victim) and ensures both sides have same opportunities.

via GIPHY

Future Career Scope as a Judge / Magistrate  


As you know India is the largest country by population and currently, there are lots of pending cases (in lakhs), and not many cases are opened to date. Therefore India definitely goanna needs lots of well-skilled judges which has a great sense of justice to solve all the pending cases.

The reality is becoming a judge is a difficult task, which needs lots of hard work to achieve that goal. And the judicial service exams have limited amount of seats/post.

Thus if you want to become a judge then be ready to compete in these judicial service exam. But the end result is amazing. A judge is an honourable person in the society.

As the judicial services is an important part of the government of India; that means you will get lots of facilities and other perks with a good amount of salary.

In future, you can also be promoted as a High Court judge and as well as Supreme Court judge.

A Judge is an Epitome of Justice

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