Judicial Appointments Board

Judges in the supreme courts are appointed by His Majesty The King on the recommendation of the First Minister, who receives recommendations from the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland  (JABS).

Eligibility includes:

  • at least 5, continuous years on the bench as a sheriff principal or sheriff
  • qualification as an advocate of 5 years standing
  • work as a solicitor with at least 5 continuous years of certain court experience
  • a writer to the signet with certain court experience who has passed certain examinations at least 2 years before taking up post.

For further detail, see the JABS website.

Application Process

To be appointed, judges must go through a rigorous and holistic application process which tests the high level of skill, experience and professionalism required. Once appointed, all judges receive training at the Judicial Institute, which keeps them up to date on the latest changes in the law. They regularly attend courses to build on their knowledge and expertise, and receive weekly updates on news and topical issues. Judges must retire at the age of 70.

Work Shadowing

A Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme provides any qualified solicitor, solicitor-advocate or advocate, the opportunity to apply to spend up to 3 days observing the work of a judicial office holder to encourage legal practitioners to consider applying for judicial office. 

Read more about work shadowing.