Being a Judge and serving justice is one of the most prestigious and valuable jobs in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission (BJSC) is the sole authority to assess the candidates for appointments at the entry-level of the Bangladesh Judicial Service through public examinations of law student of Bangladesh. The entry-level post at the Judicial Service is Assistant Judge or Judicial Magistrate.
A judge should be God-fearing, law-abiding, abstemious, truthful in tongue, wise in opinion, careful, fore-bearing, blameless and untouched by greed.
Definition of Judge under the Penal Code, 1860
According to section 19 of the Penal Code, 1860-
The word “Judge” denotes not only every person who is officially designed as a Judge, but also every person,
• who is empowered by law to give, in any legal proceeding, civil or criminal, a definitive judgment, or a judgment which, if not appealed against, would be definitive, or a judgment which, if confirmed by some other authority, would be definitive; or
• who is one of a body of persons, which body of persons is empowered by law to give such a judgment.
What does a judge do?
A judge oversees a trial or hearing, serving as an impartial referee and making decisions on which arguments, questions and evidence are admissible. Judges may determine the extent of punishments levied during trials.
Formation of Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission
Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission is formed by the government under the provision of Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission Rules. Prior to the formation of the Commission, persons in the judicial service were recruited on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission constituted with the senior members of the administrative service.
Under the aforesaid Rule, the Commission is constituted with-
• A judge of the Appellate Division as its chairman;
• Two judges of the High Court Division;
• Attorney General;
• One member of the Law Commission;
• Secretary, Ministry of Establishment;
• Secretary, Ministry of Finance;
• Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs;
• One of the Deans of the Faculty of Dhaka, Rajshahi or Chittagong University;
• Registrar, Bangladesh Supreme Court and the district judge of Dhaka as members of the Commission.
The Commission has been entrusted with the responsibility of recommending the names of suitable candidates for appointment in the entry post of judicial service (Assistant Judge/Judicial Magistrate) after their selection on the basis of the examination conducted by the Commission.
Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission after its constitution in 2007 recommended names of 165 persons for appointment as Assistant Judges after their selection on the basis of oral examination and written examination held earlier by the Public Service Commission. In 2008, Judicial Service Commission arranged and conducted examination for selecting persons for appointment as Assistant Judges, and on its recommendation many persons have been appointed as Assistant Judges.
Qualifications needed to apply for Bangladesh Judicial Service Examination
Any person may apply for this examination if he/she is:
1. A citizen of Bangladesh;
2. Obtained LL.B degree with 2nd class or LL.M. degree with 2nd class from any recognized university;
3. Having the age not exceeding 32 years; and
4. Is not suffering from any physical illness.
Bangladesh Judicial Service Examination
The most desirous legal profession for a fresh law graduate is the job of a judge. To be appointed as a judge, a law graduate will need to appear for the Bangladesh Judicial Service Examination. Every year, large groups of law students appear for this highly competitive examination and very few are selected. This examination is divided into three parts:
1. Preliminary examination:
The candidates must sit for a 100 marks MCQ type preliminary examination and secure at least 50 marks to sit for the written examination.
There will be about 50% legal questions. The rest of the questions are asked from Bengali, English, Maths, Science and Technology, Intellect, Bangladesh and International Affairs. Pass number is 50 marks in MCQ examination. There shall be 1 mark for each question. 0.25 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer. Candidates who will pass the preliminary examination can only participate in written exams.
2. Written examination:
Selected candidates from the preliminary examination will attend to the written examination.
The written test will be of 1000 marks and 50% marks is pass mark. In which Bengali will cover 100 marks, 100 in English, 50 in mathematics, 50 in daily science, 50 in Bangladesh subjects and 50 in international affairs. 500 marks will be from law subjects. Among them, questions are asked about civil laws, criminal laws, constitutional matters, Muslim and family law related matters. At the end, 100 marks will be from optional subject matter. However, if the candidates get less than 30 marks in any subject they will be counted as failed.
The candidates who secured the required marks in the written examination will face viva examination.
Passed Candidates in written examination, will be called at Viva. There will be no question outside of personal and legal questions. Every question should be answered according to the perspective of the viva board. The candidate must present himself in a decent and elegant way. Required pass marks is 50 marks out of 100.
Those who obtain the pass mark in the viva will be appointed as an Assistant Judge.
Most important skills of a Judge
A judge is a pillar of our entire justice system and the public expects highest and irreproachable conduct from anyone performing a judicial function. Judges must try for the utmost standards of integrity in both their professional and personal lives. They should be knowledgeable about the law, willing to undertake in-depth legal research, and able to write decisions that are clear, logical and cogent. Their judgment should be sound and they should be able to make informed decisions that will stand up to close scrutiny. Judges should be fair and open-minded devoid of any kind of political fervour.
To succeed in the role, a judge must possess a mixture of both hard and soft skills, including:
Knowledge of local and federal laws: A judge must possess a strong understanding of the law and court procedures to facilitate fair and legal trials and hearings.
Critical thinking: A judge must have critical-thinking skills to properly oversee a trial and make decisions in response to legal motions or to hand down a sentence.
Empathy: Judges should also have the empathy to relate to all parties to make the right decisions during court proceedings.
Communication: A judge must possess strong communication skills, both verbal and written. Communication skills are important both in terms of relaying and receiving information. This minimizes the risk of confusion and misunderstandings in the courtroom.
Professional Conducts for Judges
1. A Judge has to perform his duty without any fear or favour.
2. A Judge should perform the duties of the office impartially and diligently.
3. A Judge upholds integrity of the judiciary.
4. A Judge should uphold independence of judiciary.
5. A Judge should respect and comply with the laws of land.
6. A Judge should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in Judiciary.
7. A Judge should maintain a high standard of conduct.
8. A judge should not allow family, social or other relationships to influence his judicial conduct or judgment.
9. A judge should not hold membership in any organization that practices discrimination on the basis of race, sex, cast, religion etc.
10. A judge should not lend the prestige of the judicial office to advance the private interest of others.
11. A judge should be patient, respectful, and courteous to lawyers and litigants.
12. A judge will not accept gifts or hospitality except from his family, close relatives and friends.
13. The judge shall not hear any matter where he severed as lawyer in the matter or has been a material witness of any matter.
14. No Judge shall try any suit or other proceeding to which he is a party or in which he is personally interested.
15. The presiding officer of an appellate Court shall not try an appeal against a judgment, decree or order passed by him in another capacity.