In every episode of LAWcatz we cut through the jargon that surrounds us all in today's complex world. Learn more from our LAWcatz 'IN THE KNOW' articles, a selection of legal information to weird cases and law that will educate and entertain.
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Updated: Aug 28, 2018

This article features a Who's Who when it comes to judges, from the Lord Chief Justice to our local Magistrates, every judge has a unique role to play.

Who's who in the Judges in the UK!

The Big Cheese:

Lord Chief Justice.

LCJ is head of the judiciary and President of the Courts. He used to be second to the Lord Chancellor but since 2005 The Lord Chancellor lost all judicial functions. The current Lord Chief Justice is Sir Ian Burnett.

The next biggest Cheese

Master of the Rolls: Originally a clerk responsible for keeping records. Current holder. Sir Terrence Etherton.


The Judges of the Supreme Court (Formerly House of Lords) known as Justices and are granted the courtesy title Lord or Lady for life. Headed by the President and Deputy President and comprises of 10 Justices.

The rest.

High Court Judge: There are about 5000 high Court Judges. Mostly come from the the Bar although there have been some Solicitors appointed.

Circuit Judges: There are about 600 circuit judges and they sit in the County Court, Crown Court and in certain sub divisions of the High Court such as Technology and Construction Court.

Recorder: a Recorder is a part time Circuit Judge, usually a practising Barristers or Solicitors.

District Judges: there are two groups. Those that sit in the County Court and those that sit in the Magistrates Court where they we're known as Stipendiary Magistrates.

Deputy district Judges: a Barrister or a Solicitor who sits part time as a district Judge.

Bottom of the legal food chain

Magistrates: These are not Lawyers but ordinary people drawn from the community and sit in the Magistrates Court dealing with criminal matters. They normally sit in threes and helped by a Clerk of the Court who usually is a Solicitor or a Barrister

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