Review of process supporting independent selection commissions for UK Supreme Court appointments

Review of process supporting independent selection commissions for UK Supreme Court appointments

Lord Neuberger (pictured), President of the Supreme Court, has today welcomed the recommendations of a review of the process for supporting the work of the independent selection commissions established to recommend appointments to the court.

One of the chief recommendations is to consult on a new policy giving effect to the Equal Merit provision in the Crime and Courts Act 2013 – a “tiebreaker” clause enabling selection commissions to recommend the appointment of a candidate from an under-represented group ahead of another candidate assessed to be equally qualified for the post.

Developing appropriate ways of “talent spotting’ within the statutory framework, more strategic succession planning based on an assessment of the future needs of the Court, and programmes of mentoring and development opportunities for potential candidates also feature in the recommendations.

The review, conducted by Jenny Rowe, the chief executive of the Supreme Court, was launched in September 2014.

It invited views from a range of parties involved as members of past selection commissions as well as a number of academics who have published commentaries on the process.

Lord Neuberger said: “I welcome the completion of Jenny’s report and the recommendations she has made. I am content for a number of the recommendations to be take forward immediately while others will require further discussion with interested parties.

“Work on this will start in the autumn and will be carried forward by Jenny’s successor.

“The report is typical of Jenny’s contributions throughout her time as chief executive of the Supreme Court – it is clear, comprehensive, principled and practical.”

The next vacancy due to arise at the Supreme Court is in September 2016, when Lord Toulson reaches his compulsory retirement age.

A summary report of the consultation responses and Jenny Rowe’s recommendations can be here.

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