Selection Policy

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This section of the website provides information on JAC selection policy.

The independent Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) selects candidates for judicial office on merit, through fair and open competition from the widest range of eligible candidates. The JAC has developed a set of Qualities and Abilities against which to measure merit and these are adjusted as appropriate for different appointments. We were set up to maintain and strengthen Judicial independence by taking responsibility for selecting candidates for Judicial Office out of the hands of the Lord Chancellor while making the appointments process clearer and more accountable.  

Under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 the JAC has a responsibility to develop and implement our own selection processes. We have very specific duties in the selection of Judges and Tribunal members, both legal and non-legal. Our key statutory responsibilities are:

  • to select candidates solely on merit;
  • to select only people of good character;
  • to have regard to the need to encourage diversity in the range of persons available for selection for appointments.
Our role is to select and recommend candidates, not to appoint them. For each vacancy, Commissioners select one candidate to recommend to the Appropriate Authority (Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice, or Senior President of Tribunals) for appointment. The Appropriate Authority can accept or reject a recommendation, or ask for it to be reconsidered. If he does so he is required to provide his reasons in writing to the Commission. He can only exercise that power once for each candidate and cannot select an alternative candidate.  

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