The Academy of Law is where the Judges of Mega-City One are trained. Training a Street Judge takes fifteen long, hard years[1] (although exceptional cadets may graduate earlier through a fast-track programme, usually in thirteen years[2]). Many of the entrants to the Academy of Law never make it to the streets of Mega-City One as a full Judge. The Academy is sometimes referred to as "The toughest school on earth". Cadets are either cloned from proven genetic stock, or are recruited into the Academy, typically at the age of five. They are then expected to learn the basics of law enforcement very quickly, and any failing during their rigorous training is likely to lead to expulsion. Only two in seven cadets graduate.[3] On graduating cadets attain Rookie Judge status and are awarded their half eagle badge and white helmet.[4] (See here for an illustration.)

Cadet judges attend regular classes on all aspects of policing and controlling a 22nd Century Megalopolis. Both practical and mental skills are vital to their progress at the Academy, so they are subjected to continual assessment by their judge-tutors. One of the standard texts at the academy is The Comportment of a Judge - a reference guide for street judges written by Judge Dredd, and often known as "Dredd's Comportment."[5]The Academy of Law is a self-contained environment for prospective judges - affording them somewhere to live, train both physically and mentally, and to be tested. However cadets do have to go outside in groups for their "Hotdog Run," a combat mission into the Cursed Earth radiation desert. This is usually a cadet's first real test of their training in actual combat conditions.[6]

Rookie judges must also pass a "final street test" before they can graduate. Only when they have satisfied a serving judge that they can handle themselves on the streets of Mega-City One can a rookie leave the Academy with his or her black helmet and full eagle badge.[7] (See here for an illustration.) When the Grand Hall of Justice was destroyed during the Apocalypse War of 2104, the Academy served as a temporary headquarters building for the Justice Department until a new Grand Hall was completed in 2105.[8] The Academy has come under attack from hostile forces three times first by the new Soviet Union  Which assaulted it in the Apocalypse War, with many cadets dying in a last stand; unspecified damage during Necropolis caused a judge to remark "what Academy?" when discussing the flow of students from it; and the latest was a joint assault by terrorists in 2134, during the story Day of Chaos, which slaughtered most of the cadets and burnt the building to the ground.[9] Only six hundred cadets survived the 2134 attack.[10]

The Academy was reopened after Chaos Day. It was still being rebuilt shortly before 2138, and a memorial statue for the slain cadets stood at the entrance. [1]

In 2138, it was discovered that the "Sector Zero" conspiracy under Judge Badger was 'recruiting' failed Academy applicants: a Sector Zero operative would arrive at the children's homes, claiming to be from the Academy and that they were being recruited after all. [2]


  1. Prog 1962: "Ghosts Part 1"
  2. Progs 1962-: "Ghosts"
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