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Training and Recruitment of Judges in Germany


Johannes Riedel

President Court of Appeal district of Cologne, Germany, DE
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Training of German judges is part of general legal education which is the same for all regulated legal professions (judges, prosecutors, practising lawyers, lawyers in administration and private employment). This uniform qualification is acquired by passing two exams administered by the state, i.e. the Länder (not the Federation), the first exam after university studies and the second exam after state-organized practical training. The paper gives an overview of this system of legal education.


Germany, as a rule, has career judges. Courts of first and second instance are administered by the Länder, therefore the Länder judicial administrations are also responsible for recruitment of young career judges. General criteria for appointment to any public office are laid down in the German constitution (Grundgesetz). Apart from this, selection proceedings differ in detail, although elaborate lists of criteria (employee profiles, competence profiles) are widely used. Professional competence is judged with emphasis on exam results; personal competence and social competence are assessed in interviews with appointment commissions or staff managers of ministries of justice. The paper provides details of these proceedings and also gives the author’s personal experience with recruitment proceedings in the Court of Appeal district of Cologne.


How to Cite: Riedel, J., 2013. Training and Recruitment of Judges in Germany. International Journal for Court Administration, 5(2), pp.42–54. DOI:
Published on 31 Oct 2013.


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