Judicial Appointments Commission chairman appointed

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice today announced the appointment by Her Majesty of Christopher Stephens as Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).

Date: Wednesday 09 March 2011

In announcing Mr Stephens' appointment, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Kenneth Clarke QC MP, commented:

'I very much welcome Chris Stephens' appointment as Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission. He brings a great deal of experience to the role, from both the public and private sectors. I wish him well in his task of leading the JAC at a time of change and transition as it considers the outcomes of the review of the judicial appointments process. I know that Mr Stephens will wish to consider how the JAC's contribution to the end to end judicial appointments process can be improved and how it can better deliver its business at lower cost.'

Mr Stephens was appointed following a recruitment exercise that complied with the Code of Practice of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Mr Stephens also gave evidence to the Justice Select Committee on 31 January.  The Committee, in its report, endorsed Mr Stephens' suitability for the position of Chair.

This appointment is for three years from 7 February 2011 and is renewable.

Christopher Stephens is Chairman of Traidcraft plc and a non-executive director of WSP, a global engineering consultancy and Holidaybreak plc, a travel and education business. He is also Chairman of the DHL (UK) Foundation, a charity committed to community development and education projects both in the UK and worldwide.

Until 2004, he was Group Human Resources Director of Exel (now DHL), the international logistics company.

Christopher was a Civil Service Commissioner until July 2009 and a Member of .the Senior Salaries Review Body until February 2011.

Re-appointment of Commissioners

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice also announced today the re-appointment, by Her Majesty The Queen, of Dame Lorna Boreland-Kelly DBE JP, Professor Dame Hazel Genn DBE, Sir Geoffrey Inkin OBE, Edward Nally, Sara Nathan OBE, District Judge Charles Newman, Judge David Pearl, Francis Plowden, Harriet Spicer and Jonathan Sumption OBE QC, as Commissioners of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). Biographies of the Commissioners can be found on the JAC's website.

Their re-appointments are for one year from 1 February 2011.


Note to editors

  • The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) is an independent commission created by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 to select candidates for judicial office in courts and tribunals in England and Wales, and for some tribunals whose jurisdiction extends to Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  • The JAC selects candidates for judicial office on merit, through fair and open competition, from the widest range of eligible candidates.
  • The JAC comprises a Chairman and 14 Commissioners. All are recruited and appointed through open competition with the exception of three judicial members who are selected by the Judges' Council. Membership of the Commission is drawn from the judiciary, the legal profession, the magistracy and the public.
  • There is currently a vacancy in the Commissioner body following her Honour Frances Kirkham's retirement from the Circuit bench. Another Commissioner-Ed Nally- has intimated that he will resign as a JAC Commissioner on 31 March 2011 following his appointment as a non-executive director of the Legal Services Board.
  • The Chairman receives remuneration of £36,000 per annum in respect of two days' service per week. The Lord Chancellor has agreed with Mr Stephens that he might work up to three days per week until the end of 2011 and receive remuneration of up to £54,000 per annum during this period.
  • Commissioners who are not full time judicial office holders receive remuneration of £12,180 per annum in respect of three days' service per month.
  • The appointment and re-appointments were made in accordance with the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. More information about the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments is available at: www.publicappointmentscommissioner.org.