Solicitors competing today to become a deputy district judge are battling technical difficulties in yet another recruitment exercise to be plagued by IT glitches.
The Judicial Appointments Commission, which is hoping to fill 303 deputy district judge vacancies, apologised on Twitter this morning that 'some DDJ candidates have experienced difficulties due to our website server'. The commission advised candidates to 'log out and log back in after noon'. The test will be open until 11pm.
The Gazette understands the issue was resolved by the commission's contractor within 90 minutes.
We’re sorry that some DDJ candidates have experienced difficulties due to our website server. This problem is being fixed urgently.— Judicial Appointments Commission (@becomeajudge) April 17, 2018
We advise that candidates log out and log back in after noon (12pm). The test will be open until 11pm.
One family and Court of Protection barrister responded: 'I took a day out of court to make sure I had no issues with getting back home in time to do the test - I cannot afford to keep taking time off to repeat the test!'
The commission told the Gazette: 'We are very sorry that a small number of candidates for the DDJ competition were affected by an issue on our website server this morning. This was quickly resolved by our IT contractor and all applicants can now complete the online test as usual. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. We have extended the time limit to ensure all candidates have the opportunity to complete the test.'
This is not the first time anxious candidates have endured IT frustrations.
Last year the commission apologised for the 'stress and inconvenience' caused to nearly 2,500 applicants who participated in the first stage of a recruitment process to become a recorder. The commission decided to invite all candidates to proceed to the second stage of the selection process. However, IT troubles continued in the second stage of the competition, with the Criminal Bar Association reporting that tests were being emailed to some candidates several minutes prior to scheduled start times, affecting the time allocated to complete the test, and some applicants not receiving emails.