Computer says no
Online application process for aspiring recorders falters just hours after opening
Solicitors and barristers wishing to take the next step on the judicial ladder faced agonising delays this week as the recorder application process suffered a major IT meltdown.
The Judicial Appointments Commission's competition to find the 100 best recorders to fill the criminal and family courts stalled just hours after its official launch when the online qualifying test experienced 'technical problems'.
Almost 2,500 candidates applied to take the online multiple-choice situational judgement test, the first of four stages in the application process, which also includes an online scenario test, telephone assessment, and final interview.
Droves of lawyers took to social media to vent their frustration as they were repeatedly met with error messages throughout the process.
Even those who did eventually reach the end received a further error message upon submission, casting doubt as to whether they had actually completed the test.
The JAC apologised to candidates who were experiencing difficulties and said it was working urgently to resolve the issue with its IT supplier.
Despite the majority of recorders coming from the ranks of the barrister profession, this year solicitors have been encouraged to apply for the sought after judicial post. However, the latest technical snag will have served only to annoy rather than inspire many.
Writing in Solicitors Journal in January, Lord Justice Burnett, the vice chairman of the JAC, said: 'We recognise there were technical IT problems that frustrated some candidates in 2015 and we are as confident as we can be that they have since been ironed out.'