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Voluntary work Appointment as a youth alderman

Juvenile aldermen are honorary judges for juvenile criminal justice. They contribute their life and professional experience to the decisions and can thus contribute to a realistic finding of truth and justice. Aldermen do not need any special legal knowledge

In reaching a verdict, the lay judges vote in full and with the same voting rights as the professional judges on the facts of the case, the guilt of the accused and the sentence.

They are appointed to the district courts within the framework of the Juvenile Court or the Juvenile Chamber of the Regional Courts.

Youth aldermen are elected for a term of office of 5 years.

Process flow

For the election of youth aldermen, lists of candidates are drawn up by the youth welfare committees of the competent authority.

Candidates for the office of youth alderman may be proposed to the competent authority. If fewer persons are proposed than needed, the competent authority will propose suitable candidates on its own initiative.

The inclusion in the list of proposals is made by the youth aldermen by decision of the youth welfare committee.

The lists of proposals shall be made available to the public for inspection once they have been drawn up. Anyone may object to the nominated candidates within a period of one week on the grounds that certain candidates are not suitable for the office of alderman.

The lists of candidates and any objections are sent to the local district court. This is where the aldermen election committee meets, which includes seven confidants elected by the local municipality. It is chaired by a judge at the district court. The committee first decides on the objections and then selects the necessary number of principal and assistant aldermen from the lists of candidates.

At the end of each year, the order in which the principal aldermen attend the ordinary meetings of the following financial year is determined by the court by drawing lots.

The lay judges are sworn in at the beginning of their duties in open session of the court. The oath or a corresponding pledge can be taken with or without a religious affirmation formula ("so help me God"). The swearing-in is valid for the entire duration of the parliamentary term.

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the district, the district-free city and  some municipalities belonging to the district.


  • German citizenship
  • Ability to speak German
  • Reaching the age of 25
  • Age maximum 70 years at the beginning of the term of office
  • Residence in the district of the administrative authority responsible for drawing up the lists of candidates
  • Health suitability
  • Educational skills and experience in youth education
  • Ability to hold public office
  • No ongoing investigation
  • No final judgment for imprisonment of more than 6 months for an intentional act
  • No exercise of a profession in the occupational groups
    • Professional judges
    • Public prosecutors
    • Lawyers
    • Notaries
    • Police officers and pastors

Which documents are required?

Documents may be required. Please contact the competent authority.

What are the fees?

There are no fees.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Elections are held every 5 years.

What else should I know?

Principal lay judges are called upon directly on the respective sitting days of the court.

Auxiliary lay judges, on the other hand, are only called upon when principal lay judges are prevented from attending for important reasons or at unscheduled sessions of the court.

The order in which the assistant aldermen are called upon is drawn at the beginning of the parliamentary term.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Data protection information

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)