Varied career paths

OVER THE COURSE OF A CAREER, A MEMBER OF THE JUDICIARY MAY CHANGE COURSE AND FUNCTION SEVERAL TIMES, For example WORKING AS A PROSECUTOR, THEN AS AN INVESTIGATING JUDGE OR A JUVENILE JUDGE. THESE MANY DIFFERENT POSTS ENABLE JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS TO WORK IN DIFFERENT AREAS AND ENVIRONMENTS: ECONOMIC, INTERNATIONAL, PRISON, HOSPITAL, FAMILY AND CHILD PROTECTION. THE DIVERSITY OF THE POSTS AND FIELDS ARE A SOURCE OF PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ENRICHMENT FOR JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS.

The judiciary is not one job, rather it is dozens of very different jobs that can be exercised throughout a career: few professions offer such diversity. (Video in French)

POSTS OPEN TO NEW GRADUATES OF THE ENM

On completion of their training at the ENM, newly-qualified judges and prosecutors may have access to a number of different functions for their first posting, depending on their profile:

  • Trainees admitted by the main entrance examinations and by direct application may become deputy public prosecutors, judges (in particular family affairs judges), juvenile judges, sentence enforcement judges, investigating judges, protection dispute judges (juges des contentieux de la protection, a new category starting from January 2020).
  • Trainees who came in through the complementary examination entrance scheme become judges (in particular family affairs judges) and deputy public prosecutors. In their second posting, they can all access a wider range of functions.

Judge (video in French)

Judges are known in France as "sitting judges". Their mission is to make court decisions in accordance with the law. They are independent, and adjudicate disputes, sanction offenders and uphold the interests of victims and society after studying the case file and hearing the persons concerned by a case. Among others, they may exercise the duties of the family affairs judge (video in French).

Juvenile judge (video in French)

Juvenile judges are specialised sitting judges. Their mission covers both the protection of at-risk children within the child welfare supervision system and the judging of juvenile delinquents for the offences they commit (video in French).

Investigating judge (video in French)

Investigating judges are specialised sitting judges in charge of investigating criminal offences and preparing cases for trial. They run the criminal investigation, gather all the facts about a case, question witnesses and suspects, order expert assessments and issue search warrants, etc. When this work is complete, they may decide to drop the charges or send the accused for trial at a Judicial Court or Assize Court (video in French).

Sentence enforcement judge (video in French)

Sentence enforcement judges are specialised sitting judges. After a person is convicted, they oversee the way in which the sentence (prison, community service order, electronic tagging, etc.) is applied and decide the conditions of enforcement. They oversee the implementation of the sentence and in particular, may intervene in prison to individualise the enforcement of the sentence and prepare the offender's reintegration into society (video in French).

 

Protection dispute judge - from January 2020 (video in French)

A new position created by the 2018-2022 Programming and Justice Reform Law of 23 March 2019, the protection dispute judge (juge des contentieux de la protection) is a specialised sitting judge who protects vulnerable people by acting as guardianship judge (juge des tutelles), as well as judging rental disputes, ruling on overindebtedness cases and dealing with matters related to consumer credit.

Deputy public prosecutor (video in French)

Deputy public prosecutors (substitut du procureur) are what is known as "standing judges" who represent the public prosecutor's office. They do not give judgment at the hearing, but propose a sentence to the judge in the name of society. They are involved at every stage of criminal proceedings: orientation of the proceedings, running criminal investigations, bringing charges and suggesting alternatives to prosecution, overseeing the enforcement of sentences, and so on (video in French).

OTHER POSSIBLE FUNCTIONS DURING A CAREER IN THE JUDICIARY

Other functions are open to judges and prosecutors during their career, such as that of liberty and detention judge (juge des libertés et de la détention).
Judges and prosecutors may also be offered posts on secondment to government departments or public organisations, or international postings. Among other things, they can work at the Ministry for Justice or in any other ministry, be seconded to teach at the ENM, be appointed to an international court or institution, become the liaison magistrate in an embassy to facilitate international cooperation, work for an independent administrative authority such as the Defender of Rights or at the Commission on Human Rights, or be appointed as a ministerial advisor, etc.