Judicial Appointments Commission Triennial Review 2014 - call for evidence

Closed 30 Apr 2014

Opened 27 Mar 2014

Results Updated 19 Jan 2015

The Ministry of Justice has carried out a Triennial Review of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) which acknowledges a continued role for it as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body.

The review reflects on the evolution of the JAC since its creation, reflecting on the health of the organisation in terms of governance, operation and financial practice as well as highlighting areas which it may continue to develop.

Files:

Overview

Triennial Review Programme
 
The landscape for public bodies is undergoing significant reform to increase transparency and accountability, to cut out duplication of activity, and to discontinue activities which are no longer needed. The reform programme includes the requirement for Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) to undergo Triennial Reviews. The periodic review of our NDPBs is one of the ways that the Government intends to ensure that we maintain a lean, but effective, public sector.
 
Triennial Reviews are expected to take between 3 to 6 months and are carried out by the Sponsor Department of the respective bodies. The Ministry of Justice is the sponsor Department for the Judicial Appointments Commission.
 
Purpose of the review
 
As custodians of the public purse, whether paid by the professions or directly from public funds, it is important that we deliver an efficient and effective service to the public. The periodic review of our NDPBs is one of the ways that the Government intends to ensure that we maintain a lean, but effective public sector. A Triennial Review is a Cabinet Office mandated process for reviewing the functions of NDPBs, the appropriateness of the body’s delivery mechanism and its governance arrangements.
 
The Cabinet Office has identified two principal aims for Triennial Reviews:
  • To provide a robust challenge of the continuing need for individual NDPBs – both their functions and their form; and 
  • Where it is agreed that a particular body should remain as an NDPB, to review the control and governance arrangements in place to ensure that the public body is complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance.
Functions of the Judicial Appointments Commission
 
The Judicial Appointments Commission is an independent commission that selects candidates for judicial office in courts and tribunals in England and Wales, and for some tribunals whose jurisdiction extends to Scotland or Northern Ireland. It was established on 3 April 2006 as one of the major changes brought about by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which also reformed the office of Lord Chancellor and established the Lord Chief Justice as head of the judiciary of England and Wales. 
 
The JAC recommends candidates for appointment as puisne judges of the High Court and to all judicial offices listed in Schedule 14 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. It selects candidates for judicial office through fair and open competition, and had the statutory duties to: select candidates solely on merit; select only people of good character; and have regard to the need to encourage diversity in the range of persons available for selection.

Why We Are Consulting

Call for evidence
 
In order to review the continuing need for the functions and the form of the Judicial Appointments Commission, and its statutory powers to perform these functions, the review team is seeking evidence from a wide range of bodies in response to the two principle aims stated by Cabinet Office (as detailed above).
 
The review team would particularly welcome hearing from stakeholders of the Judicial Appointments Commission. 
 
All submissions must be received by Wednesday, 30 April 2014.

What Happens Next

Timeline
 
The Triennial Review commences on 25 March 2014 and is expected to take six months to complete. The conclusions of the review will be announced in both Houses of Parliament and a copy of the final report will be published on the Justice website.

Audiences

  • Judiciary
  • Court & Tribunal staff
  • Legal professional bodies

Interests

  • Courts
  • Judicial appointments