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‘I feel very privileged to have been elected President, and to represent close on 450 District Judges across England and Wales. Of course, I have already had a few months of practice having, somewhat earlier than anticipated, stepped into the shoes of my predecessor, Robert Jordan, following his recent elevation to the circuit bench.The Association of Her Majesty’s District Judges represents all 420 of the district judges who exercise a civil and family jurisdiction in the county courts and district registries of the High Court throughout England and Wales. Acting through its committee and officers, the association gives pastoral advice and assistance to its members. It also represents the district bench in varied discussions and meetings with the senior judiciary, HMCS and many other organisations.
2015 is likely to be a very challenging year. HMCTS reform is underway which may well result in change to working practices and deployment of judges is under consideration and of course an increasing numbers of litigants in person fill the courts.
Over the years since I was appointed, I have witnessed enormous changes not only to the breadth and range of work undertaken by District Judges, but also to the jurisdiction exercised. I have no doubt whatsoever that the District Bench will continue to ‘rise to the occasion’ as it has always previously done.’