Elections for lay judges
Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Elections for lay judges take place every five years. The election year is always the year BEFORE the start of the new five-year term of office.

Lay judges are honorary judges in criminal matters and participate in the negotiation and decision-making at the local or regional court.
Youth lay judges are honorary judges at the youth court.

Honorary administrative judges participate in legal disputes in the administrative or higher administrative court (for example immigration and asylum law, school, building, civil service, regulatory and health law).

There is NO legal training required for these honorary positions. The participation of citizens who are not legally trained is required precisely because they should bring their life and work experience, their sensible judgment, their public spirit and their evaluations into the decisions of the courts.
Only the youth lay judges should have additional educational qualifications and be experienced in youth education. This requirement does not have to be acquired through school or work.

These honorary positions should take appropriate account of all groups of the population according to gender, age, occupation and social status.

Term of office
Lay judges, youth lay judges and honorary administrative judges are appointed for five years and should not be appointed by the court for more than twelve session days per year. The coming term of office is from 01/01/2019 to 12/31/2023.

For the time of the court hearing, lay judges, youth lay judges and honorary administrative judges are on an equal footing with the professional judge present and are equally responsible for the decisions.
They are obliged to attend the meetings to which they have been invited. The employer has to release them for the time of their assignment.
They receive compensation for their work (including for loss of earnings, lost time and travel expenses.) There is no further compensation.

  • Completed declaration of consent (can be sent by fax, email or post)


  • Possession of German citizenship
  • between 25 and 69 years of age when taking office (01.01.2019), there is no maximum age limit for honorary administrative judges
  • The registration address must be in the respective district office area (i.e. you can only be proposed to the responsible district)
  • physical and mental fitness and no deterioration in assets (no over-indebtedness, insolvency)

Additional requirement for youth lay judges:

  • Educational ability and experience in youth education
    (This ability and experience does not need to be acquired at school or professionally. It is sufficient, for example, that you can refer to your own upbringing of children or work voluntarily or professionally with young people)


The list of proposals for lay judges and honorary administrative judges has been drawn up for the term of office from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023 in all districts. We are therefore currently no longer looking for lay judges and honorary administrative judges.

Certain groups of people may not be appointed lay judges or honorary administrative judges due to their profession, status, membership in parliaments or their voluntary work in the administration.

Acting lay judges who would like to continue serving as lay judges in the next term of office must reapply.

Courts Constitution Act,
Juvenile Court Act,
Administrative court code
Section 31 of the Federal Registration Act

Related Links

  • Aldermen
  • Alderman election
  • Declaration of consent of lay judges (PDF)
  • Leaflet for lay judges
  • Aldermen's Guide

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