Judicial Appointments Commission

Judicial Appointments Commission

The Judicial Appointments Commission is responsible for selecting judges in England and Wales. It is a Non-Departmental Public Body body which was created on 3 April 2006 as part of the reforms following the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. It took over a responsibility previously that of the Lord Chancellor and the Department for Constitutional Affairs (previously the Lord Chancellor's Department), although the Lord Chancellor retains responsibility for appointing the selected candidates. The Lord Chancellor has also given up his other judicial functions, including the right to sit as a judge in the House of Lords.

The Commission launched its new system to select High Court judges on 31 October 2006, looking for candidates to fill 10 vacancies and 15 for a reserve list. Candidates submitted a nine-page application form, and shortlisted candidates were interviewed. All candidates were to be judged on merit alone, measured by five core qualities: intellectual capacity; personal qualities (integrity, independence, judgment, decisiveness, objectivity, ability; willingness to learn); ability to understand and deal fairly; authority and communication skills; and efficiency.


The Commission is made up of 15 members: 2 from the legal profession (1 barrister, 1 solicitor), 5 judges, 1 tribunal member, 1 lay justice (magistrate), 6 lay people, including the chairman, supported by a staff of over 100. The members of the Commission are:
*#The Right Honourable The Baroness Prashar, CBE
*#Mr Edward Nally
*#Mr Jonathan Sumption, OBE, QC
*#The Right Honourable Lord Justice Roger Toulson
*#The Honourable Mr Justice John Goldring
*#The Right Honourable Lady Justice Heather Hallett, DBE
*#Her Honour Judge Frances Kirkham
*#District Judge Charles Newman
*#His Honour Judge David Pearl
*Lay justice
*#Dame Lorna May Boreland-Kelly, DBE, JP, FRSA
*#Professor Dame Hazel Genn, DBE, professor of law at University College London
*#Sir Geoffrey Inkin, OBE
*#Ms Sara Nathan
*#Mr Francis Plowden
*#Ms Harriet Spicer

Related bodies

The Judicial Appointments Commission is separate from the Commission for Judicial Appointments (CJA). The CJA was established in March 2001 to review the procedures for the appointment of judges and QCs, and to investigate complaints into those procedures. It closed on 31 March 2006 with the establishment of the Judicial Appointments Commission and the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman (JACO). A separate Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland and Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission undertake similar functions for Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively.

External links

* [http://www.judicialappointments.gov.uk/ Judicial Appointments Commission]
* [http://www.cja.gov.uk/ The Commission for Judicial Appointments]
* [http://www.judicialombudsman.gov.uk/ Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman]

* [http://www.gnn.gov.uk/environment/detail.asp?ReleaseID=184964&NewsAreaID=2&NavigatedFromDepartment=True Constitutional reforms come into force] (DCA press release, 23 January 2006)

* [http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=118505&d=122&h=24&f=46 Sumption and Nally bag Judicial Appointments roles] ("The Lawyer", 23 January 2006)
* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/01/23/nlaw23.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/01/23/ixhome.html Falconer ends 700 years of history] ("The Telegraph", 23 January 2006)

* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,200-2113732,00.html Taps on the shoulder make way for job applications] ("The Times", 3 April 2006)
* [http://technology.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1745519,00.html Judges aim to dispel fusty image with first move into cyberspace] ("The Guardian", 3 April 2006)

* [http://www.judicialappointments.gov.uk/press_release_high_ct_judges_311006.htm JAC launches new system for judicial appointments] 31 October 2006
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,200-2425902,00.html Merit is our bedrock — we'll appoint judges solely on merit] ("The Times", 31 October 2006)

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