Difference Between Justice and Judge (With Table)

All nations have a judicial system. The judicial system is also known as the judiciary and is a part of the government. It assists in the interpretation and implementation of the law. It is important for safeguarding the rights and freedom of citizens. This system comprises many people, including Justice and Judge. 

 Justice vs Judge

The difference between a Justice and Judge is that the Judges handle local cases in lower-level courts, and Justices work in the state’s Appeals Court and Supreme Court. They both are court officials with the responsibility of hearing legal proceedings and making conclusions in the cases that enter the court of law. 

Justice is a person who is a member of the supreme court. The functions of justice are different from the other jurisdictions. Justice does not need a law degree or any specific training. A justice can officiate weddings, witness legal documents, but does not have a responsibility toward legal proceedings. 

A judge is a person presiding over court proceedings. He can carry out this task alone or by being a part of a panel of judges. The appointment, powers, responsibilities of a judge vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is the responsibility of a judge to be impartial in a court of law.

Comparison Table Between Justice and Judge

Parameters of ComparisonJusticeJudge
EtymologyIt derived from the Old French word from Latin ‘justitia’.It derived from the Old French word ‘jugier’ meaning ‘to judge’.
MemberMember of the Supreme Court.Presides over a Lower Court.
AppointmentA Justice is appointed by-elections.The executive branch of the government appoints a judge.
ResponsibilityThey can officiate weddings, witness legal documents, and can write an opinion letter in special cases.They hold trials and carry out legal proceedings.
EducationThere is no need for any qualification or training.They need a law degree, pass the bar, and undergo training.

What is Justice?

Justice is a member of the Supreme Court and State’s Appeal Court. Justices are either elected or have been appointed. In some states, the Judicial candidates are nominated at the Democratic Party convention, or the state’s Republican party convention, or by any other party which has ballot status to the Supreme Court Bench. In some other states, justices to the appeals court as well as the Supreme Court are appointed by the governor. This is done after taking the consideration of the state’s Judicial Nominating Commission.

In some regions, especially in lower courts, they work alone. However, in some cases, like the appellate justices, they work on cases together in a panel. This panel consists of three justices who decide the case. Also, in some of the cases, even a full court of justices come together to work on a particular case. This happens if the case is more complex or prominent than the others.

Holding trials and legal proceedings are not done by Justices. However, before making any decisions, they review the documents from the lower courts. In some special cases or according to the requirement, they also hear oral arguments from the attorneys. In addition, they further issue a letter of opinion at a future date. 

What is Judge?

A judge works in the lower-level courts. These are the courts that include district court and circuit court. The public office of judges is run by the licensed attorneys, who are known as Judges in several states. Judges are the attorneys who have to attend a law school, pass the bar (state’s bar examination), and undergo certain training. 

They also have to practice law for at least a period of five years. 

If a judge leaves his seat in the court, a new judge is appointed as a replacement. This judge is appointed by the governor of the state. This replacement judge serves the court until the next judicial election. However, in certain states, the governor receives recommendations from a judicial nominating committee and then appoints the Judge.

Lower court judges hold trials, listen to oral arguments. This is done in civil cases and misdemeanours, as well as in felony criminal justice cases. It is the responsibility of a Judge to stick to the rules and morals. The Judge needs to be unbiased and impartial while listening to the arguments and then later on making decisions. It is of crucial importance that the decision made by the Judge is the right one. These parties in their respective cases seek a decision from the judge to appeal to justices in the higher courts. 

Main Differences Between Justice and Judge

  1. Justice derived from the Old French word from Latin ‘justitia’, and Judge derived from the Old French word ‘jugier’ meaning ‘to judge’.
  2. Justice presides over the Supreme Court. Whereas a judge presides over a Lower Court.
  3. A Justice is appointed by-elections. The executive branch of the government appoints a judge.
  4. Justices can officiate weddings, witness legal documents, and can write an opinion letter in special cases. Judges hold trials and carry out legal proceedings.
  5. Justices do not need any qualifications or training. Judges need a law degree, pass the bar, and undergo training.


The judicial system of a nation plays an important role in the welfare of a Nation as it protects the rights and freedom of individuals. It is important for maintaining a peaceful and orderly environment. Justices and Judges are an important and distinctive part of the judiciary system and government. They might appear to be similar but are very different.

Both Justices and Judges go through a different appointment process, have different responsibilities and power. The qualification required is different for Justices and Judges. They both also work on different cases in different levels of courts, Justices in higher courts, and Judges in lower courts.


  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/hlr116&section=16
  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/arz35&section=40
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