The ADGM Courts UAE National Judge Programme

Comprehensive framework and pathway for outstanding Emirati lawyers

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The ADGM Courts UAE National Judge Programme provides a comprehensive framework and pathway for outstanding Emirati lawyers to advance to the highest level in the legal and justice sector in the UAE. Overseen by the Chief Justice of ADGM Courts, and with the support and encouragement of the ADGM Courts' judges, the judge programme provides an extraordinary opportunity for high achieving Emirati lawyers to excel in their chosen law career.

Lord David Hope

Chief Justice of ADGM Courts

“This is a significant and highly anticipated step for the Court. Creating a pathway for the addition of Emirati Judges has been a priority since our inception and a development that we have encouraged and warmly welcome. This step is in line with the UAE's vision of justice and equality, integrity and transparency, and excellence in judicial services. We very much look forward to working during the years ahead with Emirati Judges on the bench of ADGM Courts, and to our continued collaboration on this invaluable programme with the SCO, for whose support I am very grateful.”

Lord David Hope, Chief Justice of ADGM Courts

HE Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh

Minister of State (UAE) and Chairman of ADGM

“ADGM is honoured to work with the SCO in advancing the UAE’s judicial system. The new Emirati Judge Programme is part of ADGM’s ongoing commitment to support the Government’s efforts in preparing highly competent and respected Emirati judges to deliver the highest standard of judicial services in our country. As an International Financial Centre, ADGM will continue to play its part in advocating a progressive legal infrastructure and ecosystem that fortifies the UAE’s international standing as a successful centre of global trade and finance.”

HE Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State (UAE) and Chairman of ADGM

Hamad Al Mazrouei

Chief Operating Officer at ADGM

“We are pleased to have introduced the Emirati Judge Programme as part of our continued efforts to provide valuable career opportunities for capable Emirati professionals. This programme aims to impart the knowledge and skills that these candidates will need to serve as judges at the highest level in a system based on the common law and to augment their legal backgrounds. At ADGM, we look to partner with leading, like-minded institutions to aid in the progression of our shared goals and, as such, extend our sincerest gratitude to the SCO for their participation in this initiative. We look forward to reaping significant results from the programme and enhancing the UAE’s legal sector hereafter.”

Hamad Al Mazrouei, Chief Operating Officer at ADGM
Ready to begin your journey of becoming an Emirati judge?

Prerequisites and qualifications

Comprising four stages, the programme includes intensive education and considerable practical legal and judicial training in common law, with an emphasis on commercial law. Programme participants must demonstrate a high level of academic achievement in common law, strong leadership and communication skills, and a commitment to the highest ethical standards.

Prior to proceeding to the application process, pleasure ensure each of the following requirements are met:

  • An undergraduate degree in English common law, economics or business studies
  • In the case of no undergraduate degree in law, a postgraduate degree in law is required
  • A minimum of 6.5/7 IELTS score

ADGM will begin reviewing the next round of applications in summer 2021. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted to proceed to the next stage.

  • 1
    Stage 1

    Candidates submit their CV and a rationale paper.

  • 2
    Stage 2

    Candidates complete psychometric assessments and a 1st round interview.

  • 3
    Stage 3

    Candidates complete a case study writing assignment and
    a 2nd round interview.

  • 4
    Stage 4

    Successful applicants are notified with their development programme start date.

  • 1
    Stage 1

    ADGM familiarisation and induction

  • 2
    Stage 2

    Post graduate degrees (e.g GDL, LPC, LLM) - modules taken to include e.g. corporate law, commercial law, contract law, equity, commercial dispute resolution, international trade

  • 3
    Stage 3

    Litigation training - practising commercial common law and dispute resolution as a trainee/associate in a Magic Circle Law firm dealing with court litigation; and/or working as a judicial assistant in the English Court of Appeal (Civil Division) and in the English Commercial Court

  • 4
    Stage 4

    Practical judicial training - sitting with a full-time judge in a common law jurisdiction or in ADGM Courts; assisting with case management and drafting of judgments. Including judicial writing skills

Programme participants will be mentored by an ADGM Courts judge throughout stages 2, 3 and 4.

What does this development programme consist of?

The programme consists of four stages which are tailor-made for each participant based on their years’ of experience, completed education and individual learning pace.

The four stages of the development programme include:

  • ADGM Familiarisation and induction
  • Post graduate degrees (e.g GDL, LPC, LLM)
  • Litigation training with a magic circle law firm and/or working as a judicial assistant in the English Court of Appeal (Civil Division) and in the English Commercial Court
  • Practical judicial training which includes sitting with a full-time judge in a common law jurisdiction or in ADGM Courts

What are the tuition fees for this programme?

Successful candidates will become employees of ADGM, and their development will be sponsored and paid for by ADGM.

What is the criteria to be eligible for the programme?

  • An undergraduate degree in English common law, economics or business studies
  • In the case of no undergraduate degree in law, a postgraduate degree in law is required
  • A minimum of 6.5/7 IELTS score

How long is the programme? (from start to graduate)

The development programme and its subsequent length is customised for each participant.

What happens once I graduate from the programme?

You will be an ADGM Judge starting as a Judge in the Small Claims Court.

What happens next?

If you are successful at the shortlist stage, you will be contacted about next steps.

Where do interested candidates apply?

Please apply on the ADGM careers board.