Where 2 or more candidates are assessed as being of equal merit, the JAC can select a candidate for the purpose of increasing judicial diversity using the equal merit provision introduced by the Crime and Courts Act 2013.
The Commission’s policy on the equal merit provision defines the process we follow and has applied to selection exercises launched since 1 July 2014.
All JAC recommendations for appointment continue to be made on merit.
The JAC introduced the policy following a public consultation where 69% of respondents supported the application of the equal merit provision.
How the policy works
The policy is used where:
- 2 or more candidates are judged by the Commission to be of equal merit when assessed against the advertised requirements for a specific post
- 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)
The JAC will rely on the diversity monitoring data provided by candidates in their application form when applying the equal merit provision.
If a candidate does not provide their diversity data, it will not be possible for the Commission to apply the equal merit provision in their case.
The JAC reports the number of instances where an individual has been selected following application of the policy in its annual Official Statistics bulletins.
Reviewing the policy
The policy is reviewed regularly against the JAC business plan and objectives.
Commissioners also look at how and when the policy was used, and the impact (if any) on the percentage of candidates who provide diversity monitoring data as part of their application.