Judicial Appointments Commission: review of statutory consultation

woman holding sword statue during daytime9 July 2021

Last week, our Chairman, Lord Ajay Kakkar, informed the Justice Select Committee that we will review our approach to statutory consultation to ensure best practice.

Statutory consultation is a legal requirement on the JAC and one aspect of the selection process for judicial appointment which is carefully used alongside a wealth of other evidence to make sure we select only on merit, those of good character.

The review will make sure that we use statutory consultation in in the most appropriate way, and allow us to reassure candidates that we are using it in a fair and clear way in line with our statutory responsibilities.

The review will be externally and independently validated by an external group, Work Psychology Group.

The Terms of Reference for the review are:

  • To review the approach to statutory consultation[1] (within the statutory framework)
  • To examine whether statutory consultation responses received by the JAC are considered appropriately and whether the statutory consultation process impacts disproportionately on recommendations for appointment for any group.
  • To consider whether improvements could be made to the way in which statutory consultation is commissioned, and responses compiled and considered; and to make recommendations.

You can read what Lord Kakkar said about the review in the transcript of the Select Committee hearing: https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/2538/pdf/

The JAC has a statutory duty to select people for judicial appointment only on merit and who are of good character, in line with section 63 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. We also have a statutory duty to attract diverse applicants from a wide field, and fairness, transparency and diversity considerations are core to our selection processes.


[1] This will also include a review of the operation of consultation (statutory and non-statutory) undertaken by the statutorily constituted Selection Panels for the most senior judicial appointments (for England and Wales): Lord Chief Justice, Heads of Division, Senior President of Tribunals and Lord and Lady Justices of Appeal.