Admission for applicants from the private sector

THERE ARE SEVERAL OPTIONS OPEN TO PROFESSIONALS WORKING IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR WHO WISH TO CHANGE CAREERS AND JOIN THE JUDICIARY.  RECRUITMENT VIA THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION OR BY THE APPLICATION PROCESS, DEPENDING ON APPLICANTS' PROFILES, THE LENGTH OF TRAINING required AND THE TYPES OF POST THEY WISH TO HOLD AFTER COMPLETING their COURSE AT THE NATIONAL SCHOOL FOR THE JUDICIARY (ENM).

1. Taking the 3rd competitive entrance examination

2. 31-Month initial training course

3. 12-Month course for direct integration candidates  

4. 7 to 9-Month course for "interns"

31-MONTH initial training COURSE

Professionals from the private sector wishing to enter the ENM as "auditeurs de justice", i.e. trainee judges and prosecutors on the full 31-month course, may be recruited via the entrance examination or on the basis of an application file.

Taking the 3rd competitive entrance examination

3rd competitive entrance examination: key information

  • Probationary training, paid (length of professional experience taken into account), over 31 months
  • Applicants must be aged under 40 years
  • They must have at least 8 years' experience in the private sector

ENM 3rd entrance examination requirements

Be aged under 40 years on 1 January of the year of the examination.

Exemptions exist under various legal and regulatory provisions establishing a limited number of situations in which the age limit can be waived for candidates for the 3rd entrance examination

Be a french national

The ENM entrance examination is open only to French citizens

Have previous professional experience

Have a total of at least eight years' experience in one or more professional activities in the private sector, or of one or more terms office as an elected member of a local authority or in a non-professional judicial position.

Be of good character and enjoy full civic rights;

Particular attention is paid to this condition given the nature of the positions to be held by the applicants admitted after taking the entrance examination.
As well as checking the applicant's criminal record, an in-depth investigation will be conducted concerning them, in particular by consulting automated personal data files (Articles L.114-1, L.234-1, L 234-2, R114-1, R114-2 and R 234-1 of the Internal Security Code and Article 230-6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).
Where there is no doubt as to their existence, any acts committed by the applicant that are contrary to the good character requirement, even if they did not lead to prosecution, may give rise to a decision eliminating the application on these grounds.

Meet the requirements on being physically fit to perform your duties, taking into account measures to compensate for disability.

(Article 16-5° of Order no. 1270 of 22 December 1958, amended)
Admission to the ENM is conditional on passing the medical examinations required by Articles 20 et seq. of Decree no. 86-442 of 14 March 1986. These medical examinations take place before students take up their place at the ENM under the control of an officially accredited physician.

Papers and programmes

The 3rd entrance examination consists of 4 eligibility papers, followed by 4 admission papers (including 1 that is optional).
See : le details of the papers and programme (documents in French).

The 3rd competitive entrance examination in figures

  • Applicants may sit the 3rd competitive entrance examination for the ENM a maximum of three times.  Only actual presence for at least one of the papers is counted, not simply the completion of the application form.
  • The number of places available is decided every year by the Ministry for Justice.
PLACES OFFERED 2019 2018 2017
In the 3 entrance exams 250 250 280
In the 3rd entrance exam 13 13 14

Admission by application file (Art. 18-1)

Recruitment under Article 18-1: key information

  • Probationary training, paid (length of professional experience taken into account), over 31 months
  • Applicant must be aged between 31 and 40 years
  • They must have a qualification corresponding to 4 years of higher education in a legal field
  • They must have worked for at least 4 years in a legal, economic, human or social sciences-related field qualifying as relevant to a career in the judiciary

Conditions of recruitment under Article 18-1

Recruitment procedures not involving competitive entrance examinations are handled by the Judicial Services Directorate (DSJ) and not by the ENM.
Contact : 18-1.dsj-rhm2@justice.gouv.fr

Pour en savoir plus : Join the judiciary without taking the competitive entrance examination

Recruitment under Article 18-1 in figures

  2020 entry 2019 2018

Number of trainee judges/prosecutors recruited under Article 18-1
/number of
auditeur de justice trainees

71 / 350 59 / 309 46 / 294

What does the training at the ENM consist of?

The 3rd entrance examination and recruitment via the application process under Article 18-1 of the Order on the Status of the Judiciary allow candidates to be admitted onto the ENM's 31-month initial training course. It does not provide training in the law, but in the job of being a judge or prosecutor – and the professional techniques that it requires – through:

  • 30% practical teaching at the ENM (exchanges with serving judges and prosecutors, their partners and professionals in other areas, teaching given by experts, simulations of hearings, case studies, etc.);
  • 70% introductory and professionalisation internships (mainly with courts, but also in law firms, with police criminal investigation departments, in prisons, in companies and public institutions, abroad, etc.).

Internship locations are proposed by the School.

The training period is also a probationary period: the trainee judges and prosecutors are assessed both while at the school and during their practical internship in a court. They must be declared fit to practise as judges and prosecutors before they begin a 4-month specialisation for the type of post they have chosen (see below).

What posts are available in the judiciary?

After their 31 months of training, the trainees are ready to take up their first posts in the functions of judge, juvenile judge, sentence enforcement judge, investigating judge, protection dispute judge and deputy public prosecutor.
They will then be able to move on to other functions during the course of their career.

12-MONTH COURSE FOR DIRECT INTEGRATION CANDIDATES

Trainee judges and prosecutors recruited via the application process under Articles 22 and 23 take a 12-month course as "direct integration candidates".

The application process (Art. 22 and 23)

Recruitment under Articles 22 and 23: key information

  • Probationary training, paid (length of professional experience taken into account), over 12 months
  • Applicants must be aged at least 35 years
  • They must have a qualification corresponding to 4 years of higher education (except for court registry managers and category A civil servants who have worked at the Ministry for Justice for 7 years for grade 2)
  • They must have at least 7 years (grade 2) or 15 years (grade 1) of professional experience in a field particularly relevant to a career in the judiciary.

Conditions of recruitment under Articles 22 and 23

Recruitment procedures not involving competitive entrance examinations are handled by the Judicial Services Directorate (DSJ) and not by the ENM. Contact : recrutements.dsj-rhm2@justice.gouv.fr
Find out more : Join the judiciary without taking the competitive entrance examination

Recruitment under Articles 22 and 23 in figures

  2019 entry 2018 entry 2017 entry
Number of direct integration candidates
 trained at the ENM
43 43 73

What does the training at the ENM consist of?

The course for direct integration candidates does not provide training in the law, but in the job of being a judge or prosecutor and the professional techniques that it requires, through:

  • 1 month's practical teaching at the ENM (exchanges with serving judges and prosecutors, simulations of hearings, situation games, etc.);
  • 11 months of internships with courts during which, starting on the first day, direct integration candidates find themselves making decisions under the responsibility of an internship supervisor.

The training period is also a probationary period: the trainee judges and prosecutors are assessed during their 6-month practical internship in a court. They must be declared fit to practise as judges and prosecutors (see paragraph "probationary assessment") before they begin a 5-month specialisation for the type of post they have chosen (see below).
Trainees are paid during the course.

What posts are available in the judiciary?

When they have completed their training, grade 2 direct integration candidates can become a deputy public prosecutor, judge, investigating judge, sentence enforcement judge, juvenile judge or protection dispute judge.

As for grade 1 candidates they can become a vice-prosecutor, vice-president of a court or a specialised vice-president in charge of the liberty and detention judges, for example.

7 TO 9-MONTH COURSE FOR "iNTERNs"

Complementary competitive entrance examinations are not held systematically every year, and in recent years the posts on offer have only been at grade 2.
Applicants who pass the ENM complementary examinations then follow a 7 to 9-month course as interns.

Preparing for the ENM complementary entrance examinations

Complementary recruitment examinations: key information

  • Probationary training, paid (length of professional experience taken into account), over 7 to 9 months (decided by the examining board)
  • Applicants must be aged at least 35 years (grade 2) and 50 years (grade 1)
  • They must have a qualification corresponding to 4 years of higher education
  • They must have at least 7 years (grade 2) or 15 years (grade 1) of professional experience in a legal, administrative, economic or social field that has provided them with experience particularly relevant to a career in the judiciary.

COMPLEMENTARY RECRUITMENT EXAMINATION

ENM complementary recruitment examination admission requirements

Be aged 35 or over for grade 2 or 50 or over for grade 1

Grade 2

  • The competitive recruitment examination for grade 2 judges and prosecutors is open to applicants aged 35 years or over on 1 January of the year when enrolment for the examination opens and with at least seven years of professional experience in a legal, administrative, economic or social field that is particularly relevant to a career in the judiciary.

Grade 1

  • The competitive recruitment examination for grade 2 judges and prosecutors is open to applicants aged 50 years or over on 1 January of the year when enrolment for the examination opens and with at least fifteen years of professional experience in a legal, administrative, economic or social field that is particularly relevant to a career in the judiciary.
Have a qualification obtained after 4 years of higher education (or equivalent)

Have a qualification awarded after successful completion of a course of study lasting at last four years after the baccalaureate or a qualification officially recognised as equivalent:
1. By a diploma or other formal qualification awarded in France, another Member State of the European Union or another State party to the European Economic Area Agreement;
2. By any other diploma or qualification awarded by a competent authority proving that the applicant has successfully completed a course of study of at least equivalent level and duration to the diplomas or qualifications required;
3. By a certificate proving that the applicant is registered on a training course to which admission normally depends on possessing a diploma or qualification of at least equivalent level to the diplomas or qualifications required;
4. By a diploma or professional qualification registered with the French national register of professional certifications, classified as being at least at the same level as the diploma or qualification required.
- The diplomas, qualifications and certificates mentioned in points 1, 2 and 3 must have been awarded by a competent authority in accordance with the legislative, regulatory or administrative provisions applicable in the State concerned.
- The applicant must provide the documents mentioned in the previous paragraph in support of his/her application. These documents will be submitted, where necessary, with a French translation done by a sworn/certified translator.

Be a French national

The ENM entrance examination is open only to French citizens.

Be of good character and enjoy full civic rights

Particular attention is paid to this condition given the nature of the positions to be held by the applicants admitted after taking the entrance examination.
As well as checking the applicant’s criminal record, an in-depth investigation will be conducted concerning them, in particular by consulting automated personal data files (Articles L.114-1, L.234-1, L 234-2, R114-1, R114-2 and R 234-1 of the Internal Security Code and Article 230-6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).
Where there is no doubt as to their existence, any acts committed by the applicant that are contrary to the good character requirement, even if they did not lead to prosecution, may give rise to a decision eliminating the application on these grounds.

Meet the requirements on being physically fit to perform your duties, taking into account measures to compensate for disability.

(Article 16-5° of Order no. 1270 of 22 December 1958, amended)
Admission to the ENM is conditional on passing the medical examinations required by Articles 20 et seq. of Decree no. 86-442 of 14 March 1986. These medical examinations take place before students take up their place at the ENM under the control of an officially accredited physician.

Possibility of taking the examination up to 3 times
Applicants may sit the first entrance examination for the ENM a maximum of three times. A complete sitting is counted if the applicant signs present for at least one of the papers.

The complementary recruitment examinations in figures

The number of places available is decided by the Ministry Justice.

PLACES OFFERED 2019 2018 2017
Grade 1 0 0 0
Grade 2 80 80 50

Papers and programmes

The complementary examinations consist of:

  • 3 eligibility papers followed by 2 admission papers for grade 2;
  • 3 eligibility papers followed by 2 admission papers for grade 1.

What does the training at the ENM consist of?

The training for "interns” who have come in via the complementary recruitment examination does not provide training in the law, but in the job of being a judge or prosecutor and the professional techniques that it requires, through:

  • 1 month's practical teaching at the ENM after e-training courses (exchanges with serving judges and prosecutors, simulations of hearings, situation games, etc.);
  • 6 to 8 months of internships with courts during which, starting on the first day, trainees find themselves making decisions under the responsibility of an internship supervisor.
    The training period is also a probationary period: the trainee judges and prosecutors are assessed during their 4-month practical internship in a court. They must be declared fit to practise as judges and prosecutors (see paragraph "probationary assessment") before they begin a 2 to 4-month specialisation for the type of post they have chosen (see below).
    Trainees are paid during the course.

What posts are available in the judiciary?

On completion of their training, grade 2 trainees who have come in via the complementary recruitment examination can become a judge or deputy public prosecutor (grade 2) and a vice-president or vice-prosecutor (grade 1). They do not have access to posts as specialised sitting judges (investigating judge, juvenile judge, etc.) for their first posting, but these become accessible subsequently.