JAC extends the use of equal merit provision to shortlisting to support diversity

11 July 2019

The JAC has published a revised approach to equal merit. The approach has been extended to also cover the shortlisting stages of every selection exercise launching from today. The final decision-making stage for recommendation for appointment has been covered by this approach since 2014.

The change follows a review of the equal merit approach by the Commission. This will ensure that the JAC continues to take all measures possible, consistent with the statutory framework, to support the aim of increasing judicial diversity.

The approach can now be used at the shortlisting, as well as at the final decision-making, stages of a selection exercise where:

  • Two or more candidates are judged by the Commission to be of equal merit when assessed against the advertised requirements for a specific post – and –
  • there is clear under-representation on the basis of race or gender (determined by reference to national census data and judicial diversity data from the Judicial Office)

In this situation, priority can be given to the candidate(s) with a relevant under-represented protected characteristic for the purpose of increasing judicial diversity using equal merit provisions.