Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland

Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland

The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland is public body responsible for making recommendations on appointments to judicial offices in Scotland. It commenced work in June 2002 under the Chairmanship of Sir Neil McIntosh CBE DL, and is appointed by the Scottish Ministers and is a quango of the Scottish Government. [Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland: cite web|title=About the Board |url=http://www.judicialappointmentsscotland.gov.uk/judicial/JUD_Main.jsp?pContentID=438&p_applic=CCC&pMenu0=44&p_service=Content.show&|publisher=Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland |accessdate=2007-11-19] All recommendations are made to the First Minister of Scotland, who must consult the Lord President of the Court of Session before making his or her recommendation to the Queen of the United Kingdom. [Appointments process: cite web|title=Office of Sheriff |url=http://www.judicialappointmentsscotland.gov.uk/judicial/files/Office_Sheriff.pdf|publisher=Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland |accessdate=2007-11-19]


The Board's remit is to:

*Provide the First Minister with a list of candidates recommended for appointment to the offices of Senator of the College of Justice, Sheriff Principal, Sheriff and Part-time Sheriff.
*Make such recommendations on merit, but in addition to consider ways of recruiting a Judiciary which is as representative as possible of the communities which they serve.
*Undertake the recruitment and assessment process in an efficient and effective way.

The Board comprises 10 members, including the Chairman, who were all appointed by the Scottish Ministers, to whom the Board is responsible for its activities. There is an even balance of legal and lay members. The Board is serviced by a dedicated Secretariat, based in Edinburgh.


The method of creating the Board and appointing members was not without criticism. The Law Society of Scotland in its members' magazine "Journal" was critical that the appointments process did not follow procedures recommended by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, and the Chair of the Board is a lay member, a situation said to be "unique in Europe", where the norm is for self-governing bodies to control judicial appointments. [Criticism of the Judicial Appointments Board on the ground that it lacks any real authority: cite web|title=The Judicial Appointments Board – a misnomer |url=http://www.journalonline.co.uk/article/1000263.aspx|publisher=Law Society of Scotland |accessdate=2007-11-19]

Sir Neil McIntosh, Chair, was critical that the Scottish Executive did not put the Board on a statutory footing, as is the case for the Judicial Appointments Commission in England. [News Release: cite web|title=Judicial Appointments Board |url=http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2006/11/30152026|publisher=Scottish Government |accessdate=2007-11-19]

The Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Bill, introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 30 January 2008, would put the Board on a statutory footing. [ [http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/bills/06-JudiciaryCourts/index.htm Scottish Parliament material on Bill] ]


External links

* [http://www.judicialappointmentsscotland.gov.uk Official website]

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