Judge

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A cartoon of a judge (right) giving a punishment to a man (left)

A judge is a man or woman who is in control of a court of law.

The way that people can become judges and what they have to do in court depends on each country. In some countries, judges must work with the law (often as a lawyer) for a number of years before they can "sit as a judge" in a courtroom. In some countries, especially the United States, there might be a jury in the courtroom that decides if someone is guilty or not guilty of breaking a law. A jury can also decide if someone must pay money to someone else and how much they have to pay. If there is a jury, the judge has the job of making sure the person taken to court is treated in a fair way.

In other countries, for example in many countries in Europe, the judge makes the decision of whether or not a person is guilty.

Some courts will have more than one judge, for example three judges. For important decisions about the laws of a country, countries may have a supreme court or high court with many (nine or more) judges in it. In the United States, judges on a supreme court are called justices and are lead by a chief justice.

Judge George Jefferys

In many countries, judges wear special clothes while being in court. Oftentimes this is a black robe or cloak. Supreme or high court judges often wear a kind of red cloak. Judges in some countries also wear a special long wig. They also used to put a piece of black material on their head when they sentenced a person to die.