Judicial Shadowing Scheme

What is Judicial Shadowing?

We hope that the scheme will provide you with a unique opportunity to gain insight and to demystify judicial office by shadowing a typical working day with a serving member of the judiciary. It is supported by the Lady Chief Justice’s Office, the Bar Council and Law Society, the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service and the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission.

Why do it?

Benefits may include:

  1. An experience that will contribute to your professional development.
  2. Gaining experience in a new or less familiar field.
  3. The opportunity to gain a unique insight into the day to day reality of holding judicial office.
  4. Gaining a better understanding of the role and responsibilities e.g. the management of Court, Commission or Tribunal business.
  5. The opportunity to see the work of a Court, Commission or Tribunal from a completely new perspective.
  6. Discussing potential career paths.
  7. Seeing how the contributions of judicial officers assist and influence the decision making process.
  8. Assisting in deciding if a judicial career is for you.

Who can apply?


Solicitors and barristers with a minimum of two years’ post qualification experience for all Courts, Commissions and participating Tribunals (except for the High Court and Lands Tribunal).

Ten years experience is required to shadow in the High Court and five years experience is required to shadow the Lands Tribunal.


General Medical Council registered doctors are also eligible to apply for the scheme as shadowing is available in the Appeal Tribunals, the Mental Health Review Tribunal and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel.

Land Valuers

RICS and/or IAVI registered members with at least two years’ experience can apply to shadow NIVT and those with at least five years’ experience can apply to shadow in the Lands Tribunal.

When and where can I shadow?

One placement in any one year in the Court, Commission or Tribunal of your choice. A list of the participating Courts, Commissions and Tribunals can be found below:

  • The High Court
  • The Magistrates' Court
  • The Crown Court
  • The County Court
  • The Small Claims Court
  • Masters
  • Coroners' Court
  • Appeal Tribunals
  • Care Tribunal
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel
  • Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal (IT/FET)
  • Lands Tribunal for Northern Ireland
  • Review Tribunal (MHRT)
  • Northern Ireland Valuation Tribunal (NIVT)
  • Planning Appeals Commission
  • Social Security and Child Support Commissioners
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDT)
  • Traffic Penalty Tribunal
  • Pensions Appeal Tribunal

How to apply?

Please complete the following form Judicial Shadowing Scheme Application Form and submit to judicialappointments@nijac.gov.uk.

Once NIJAC has received your Application Form you will receive an email confirming receipt. NIJAC will contact your professional body to verify your membership and to enquire as to whether there is any known reason why it would not be appropriate for you to participate in the scheme.

Following satisfactory checks your application will be passed to the Court, Commission or Tribunal of your choice. They will contact you directly to arrange the date and location of the shadowing placement.

If your preferred choice of Court, Commission or Tribunal is not be able to be met NIJAC will contact you regarding an alternate choice.


NIJAC and the participating Courts, Commissions and Tribunals encourage applications from individuals with a disability.