Association of Commercial Judges− Business expertise for the judical system

Becoming a commercial judge

To be appointed as an honorary judge for five years, you must:

  • Have German citizenship
  • Be older than 29 and younger than 70
  • Be entered in the commercial register or register of cooperative societies as a businessperson, executive board member or CEO of a legal entity or as an agent who holds an independent position in the company that is comparable to that of an independent economic entity.

Persons wanting to become a commercial judge with the regional court of Berlin must also be residents of Berlin, or have a commercial establishment in Berlin, or be part of a company that has its headquarters or a branch in Berlin.

The Regional Court of Berlin currently has 16 commercial divisions. With around 220 appointed commercial judges, each division can choose from about 14 commercial judges on any given day of proceedings. Assuming an average of two division sessions per week, this means that a commercial judge can expect to be in court for one day every four to seven weeks.

Whereas honorary judges in labour, social and criminal jurisdictions receive compensation for lost time, commercial judges are only reimbursed for travel expenses. Commercial judges go without remuneration for their time in court in exchange for the privilege of being able to participate in this jurisdiction for businesspeople, their peers.

If you are interested in this taking on this very interesting honorary role, you are welcome to apply at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). After the Chamber and the Regional Court have approved your application, they will appoint you as a commercial judge. Appointments initially last five years and are made by the Justice Senator or state Minister of Justice and confirmed with a certificate of appointment. The president of the Regional Court announces appointments, and the swearing-in is performed at the start of the first session of the new commercial judge by the chair of the commercial division to whom the officers of the regional court have assigned the new commercial judge.