Closed Applications (Archive)

Judicial Appointments Commission - Judicial (District Judge) Commissioner

Judicial Appointments Commission
Appointing Department
Ministry of Justice
Judicial, Prison & Policing
Skills required
Legal / Judicial
Number of Vacancies
Judicial Commissioners are in salaried state employment and do not receive additional remuneration for work undertaken for the JAC on a concurrent basis.
Time Requirements
28 days per year

Campaign Timeline

  1. Competition Launched


  2. Closed for Applications


  3. Panel Sift


  4. Final Interview Date


  5. Announcement


Assessment Panel

Panel Member
Lord Bew
Panel Role
Panel Chair
Chair of the House of Lords Appointment Commission Other Panel Member
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Political ActivityNone
Panel Member
The Rt Hon Lady Justice Simler DBE
Lady Justice of the Court of Appeal Other Panel Member
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Political ActivityNone
Panel Member
Dr Caterina Milo
Assistant Professor, Fellow in Law, Robinson College, Cambridge Independent Member
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Political ActivityNone
Panel Member
Helen Pitcher OBE
Chair of the JAC Representative of Organisation
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Political ActivityNone

Vacancy Description

The role of the Commissioner

JAC Commissioners – who are independent of government and the civil service – have the corporate responsibility for ensuring that the JAC fulfils its role under the 2005 Constitutional Reform Act so that recruitment to the judiciary is made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. Commissioners are accountable to Parliament through the Lord Chancellor.

The Commissioners, currently under the leadership of Helen Pitcher – the Chair of the JAC – have five core activities:

  • To attend Commission meetings ten times per year in London, bringing their experience and judgement to bear on a range of important strategy, governance and policy issues. Each Commissioner is normally expected to also serve on one or two sub-Committees or working groups, each meeting remotely up to five times a year typically for a couple of hours at a time;
  • To select candidates for judicial appointment based on the selection exercise programme agreed with His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) and the Ministry of Justice. The Commission considers all of the information provided, including the assessments of the selection panel convened by the JAC, before making a decision as to who will be recommended to the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice or the Senior President of Tribunals for appointment;
  • One or more Commissioners will also be assigned to oversee each selection process. With the exception of appointments to the High Court or above, they will not generally sit on individual selection panels, but will ensure that the process is followed, and will be part of the process that makes the final recommendation of suitable candidates;
  • To ensure that recruitment for all exercises is open, fair and the best person for the job is recommended for appointment, Commissioners will regularly review the selection processes used to ensure that they are fit for purpose; and
  • To ensure that the JAC undertakes its statutory duty of having regard to the need to encourage diversity in the range of persons available for selection for appointments. In doing so it is expected that Commissioners take part in external events, including speaking at seminars, conferences and meetings, and making presentations to key interested parties, individuals and groups.

The Commissioners work closely with JAC staff who undertake the day-to-day process of selecting candidates to the judiciary.


The main responsibilities of the Commissioners are to:

  • Maintain the values of the JAC, particularly selection on merit on the basis of fair and open competition;
  • Oversee a number of selection exercises ensuring that the most suitable candidates are recommended for appointment to either the Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice or Senior President of Tribunals;
  • Take part in and influence debates about the strategic objectives, performance and constitutional role of the JAC; and
  • Promote the JAC and to have regard to the need to encourage diversity in the range of persons available for selection for appointments.

The successful candidate will have the ability to:

  • Work as a member of a body of Commissioners, through plenary and sub-Committee discussions, who are respected for their professionalism, valued for their contribution, and who constantly seek ways to improve their performance and that of those with whom they work in partnership;
  • Develop strategy for the Commission;
  • Work constructively with HMCTS and MoJ, while upholding JAC values and the integrity of the selection process; and
  • Carry the confidence of JAC’s key interested parties by ensuring that the most suitable candidates are recommended for appointment, with lay members taking part in selection panels for the most senior judicial appointments.

Person Specification

Essential criteria

Candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Personal integrity, party-political impartiality and a commitment to the highest standards in public life;
  • Commitment to the values of the JAC, including appointment on merit and the importance of diversity;
  • An independent mind with excellent judgement and powerful analytical skills, able to interpret complex information and make robust selection decisions which stand up to scrutiny;
  • Credibility and personal authority, such as to command the confidence of key stakeholders and able to chair selection panels;
  • Excellent listening and strong interpersonal skills and a collegial approach to decision-making, able to assimilate different Commissioner perspectives and provide considered decisions based upon consensus; and
  • Effective communication skills to represent the Commission in meetings and externally.

Desirable criteria

  • Active involvement in organisations engaging with court judges across/within the district judge jurisdiction;
  • Recent and substantial understanding or experience of appointments processes in different environments; and
  • An understanding of the courts system more generally, including assignment and deployment policies.

Additional Information


We welcome applications from all those who are eligible. To be eligible for the District Judge Commissioner role, candidates must have at least three years judicial experience and hold one of the following offices:

  • District Judge of the County Court
  • District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts)
  • Master of the King’s Bench Division
  • King’s Coroner and Attorney and Master of the Crown Office and Registrar of Criminal Appeals
  • Admiralty Registrar
  • Master of the Chancery Division
  • Registrar in Bankruptcy of the High Court
  • Taxing Master of the Senior Courts
  • District Judge of the principal registry of the family division
  • Master of the Court of Protection