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Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) for England and Wales

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (CRA) enshrined in law the independence of the judiciary and changed the way judges are appointed. As a result of the Act, the JAC was set up on 3 April 2006 to make the appointments process clearer and more accountable.

The JAC is an independent body that selects candidates for judicial office in courts and tribunals in England and Wales, and for some tribunals with UK-wide jurisdiction.

The JAC is also involved in the selection of the Lord Chief Justice, Heads of Division, Lords Justices of Appeal and the Senior President of Tribunals. More about the selection process.

UK Supreme Court

Procedure for the Appointment of Supreme Court Judges

The procedure for appointing a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is governed by Sections 25 to 31 and Schedule 8, of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013. This note sets out a brief resume of the process.

Judicial Conduct Investigations Office

Independent office which supports the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice in considering complaints about the personal conduct of judicial office holders.

Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman

Investigates the handling of complaints about the judicial appointments process, and the handling of complaints involving judicial discipline or conduct.

Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission

The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission (NIJAC) is an independent public body established in June 2005 to bring about a new system for appointing members of the judiciary in Northern Ireland.

Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland

The role of the Board is to recommend to the Scottish Ministers individuals for appointment to judicial offices within the Board’s remit and to provide advice to Scottish Ministers in connection with such recommendations. The Board became an advisory Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) on the 1st June 2009 under the provisions of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. 

Judicial Diversity Statistics 2019

The 2019 judicial diversity statistics were published on 11 July 2019, giving a diversity breakdown of the courts and tribunals judiciary and non-legal members as of 1 April 2019

Commons Library Briefing Papers

Court statistics for England and Wales

This briefing explains where to find and how to interpret statistics on criminal and civil courts in England and Wales. It covers Magistrates’, Crown, and civil courts and tribunals. 

27 Nov 2018 | Social indicators | CBP-8372

Judicial appointments

This note provides background to the recent changes to the judicial appointments system in England and Wales, starting with the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which established the Judicial Appointments Commission.

03 Sep 2009 | Commons Briefing papers | SN04717

Role of the Lord Chancellor

History and development of the office of Lord Chancellor. This note summarises the history and development of the office of Lord Chancellor and also examines the changes that were made to the role following the enactment of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.

26 Mar 2015 | Commons Briefing papers | SN02105

Lords Library Note

Supreme Court of the United Kingdom: Changes to Membership

In July 2017, it is expected that three new appointments to the Supreme Court will be announced, including the selection of a new President. In 2018 three further Justices are expected to retire, creating additional vacancies. In light of these anticipated appointments, this House of Lords Library briefing provides information on the background, functions and membership of the Supreme Court.

05 Jul 2017 | Lords Library notes – Topical | LLN-2017-0038

Select Committees

Lords Constitution Committee

Judicial Appointments Process

Inquiry into the judicial appointments process for the courts and tribunals of England and Wales and Northern Ireland (including first instance courts) and for the UK Supreme Court. [HL Paper 272, 2010-12] Published 28 March 2012 25th Report – Judicial Appointments

Judicial Appointments: follow-up

A short follow-up inquiry to the report on Judicial Appointments. The report made a number of recommendations to improve the judicial appointments process. [HL Paper 32, 2017-19] 7th Report – Judicial Appointments: follow-up

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