Law clerks can now be judges

Shanghai High People’s Court announced this as part of the city’s ongoing reform of the judicial system.
Li Yijie / Ti Gong

Law clerks take the written test last Saturday.

Law clerks now have the opportunity to become judges as part of the city’s continuing reform of the judicial system, Shanghai High People’s Court announced on Monday.

The reform started three years ago, in which a new position for clerks to act as assistants to judges was created.

As a result, judges could focus more on handling trials, increasing the legal system's efficiency.

Now it is hoped that by selecting promising law clerks to become judges, courts across the city will resolve problems caused by a shortage of judges.

Earlier this year the court designed a "talent selection system." 

A written test, the first round of a series of exams in the system, started last Saturday. It attracted 296 of the total 1,939 law clerks in Shanghai.

Li Yijie / Ti Gong

A mock trial comprises part of the exam to evaluate candidates.

Candidates who pass the test will then experience a mock trial, simulating an authentic hearing where they act the roles of judges.

If they pass their exams, the clerks will be mobilized to join district courts and hear cases.

“In the future, we will find grass-roots judges of district courts from well-performing law clerks in middle and high courts. And we will create access for judges in district courts to get promoted to middle and high courts,” said Guo Weiqing, deputy director of the court.

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