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Role details

Judicial Appointments Commission – recruitment of 5 Commissioners (3 x Lay, 1 x Judicial (Tribunal Judge), and 1x Non-Legally Qualified Judicial) PAT160073

Application deadline 11 April 2023


Judicial Appointments Commission
Sponsor department
Ministry of Justice
Judicial, Prisons & Policing
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
28 day(s) per annum
£338.33 per day
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
11am on 11 April 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    8 March 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11am on 11 April 2023

  3. Sifting date

    9 May 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    30 June 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Introduction from the Chair

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for expressing an interest in serving as a Commissioner for the Judicial Appointments Commission in one of the following roles: Lay Commissioner; Judicial (Tribunal Judge) Commissioner; or Non-Legally Qualified Judicial Commissioner.

I am seeking outstanding individuals who possesses personal integrity, sound judgement, discretion, strong communication skills and powerful analytical skills to serve on the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).

I share the view that our judiciary is among the very best in the world, unrivalled for its integrity, professionalism and independence. The JAC is an independent statutory non-departmental public body established by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 which recommends candidates for appointment, on merit, to the judiciary through fair and open competition.

These roles provide the opportunity to contribute to the delivery of judicial appointments of the highest calibre and to ensure standards are maintained at a time of unprecedented demand for new judicial appointments. You will be contributing to the JAC’s important role of ensuring appointment to the judiciary is based on merit from the broadest possible pool of talent.

This is both an exciting and challenging time to join the JAC. Demand for judicial appointment recommendations will remain exceptionally high over the next few years as courts and tribunals seek to recover from the pandemic. The JAC will also seek to build on innovation, developed during the pandemic, to enhance digital tools that will support this increased workload. The JAC’s work with the Judicial Diversity Forum and its work in developing targeted outreach seeks to support a wider more diverse range of people to apply successfully for judicial appointments.

Information about the JAC, the role of a Commissioner and the skills and qualities we are seeking for these roles are set out below. If you have further questions about any aspect of the roles, please contact Richard Jarvis, Chief Executive, on 07970 365412.

If you believe you have the experience and qualities we are seeking, I hope you consider applying for these important positions. I welcome applicants from the widest possible field and would very much look forward to receiving an application from you.

If you have questions about the appointment process, you can contact the Public Appointments Team at:, or call Colin Barker on 07376 212 108.

Helen Pitcher OBE

Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission

Role description

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 OBE - 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.

Organisation description

Established in April 2006 under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (CRA), the JAC is a non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. The JAC has a major constitutional role.  It selects candidates for judicial office.  It does this through a clear and accountable process involving fair and open competition. It selects candidates solely on merit, including good character, and from a pool comprising a wide range of eligible diverse candidates.

Its remit extends to all courts and tribunals in England and Wales, up to and including the High Court, and also some tribunals with a UK-wide jurisdiction across a wide range of legal and non-legal specialisms.

The JAC is responsible for designing, planning and conducting recruitment campaigns. In 2021–22, for example, the JAC selected 1,244 candidates for appointment from a varied and diverse pool of candidates. More information about the work of the Commission is on the JAC website:    

Board composition

Size and composition of the Board

The composition of the Commission is set out in the Judicial Appointments Commission Regulations 2013 which specify that it should comprise a lay Chairman and 14 other Commissioners. The 14 Commissioners must comprise:

·       6 judicial members (including 2 tribunal judges);

·       2 professional members selected from the Bar Council, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) or the Law Society;

·       5 lay members; and

·       1 non-legally qualified judicial member.

Biographical information for each current Commissioner is on the JAC website:

Regulation of appointment

These posts are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Person specification

Essential criteria

Candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Personal integrity, party-political impartiality;
  • A commitment to the highest standards in public life and to the values of the JAC, including appointment on merit, the importance of diversity, and an understanding of the independence of the judiciary and of the importance of comity between judiciary and government;
  • 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 and (for Lay Commissioners) to sit as a panel member for the most senior appointments;
  • Excellent listening skills, 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

Lay Commissioner posts

·       Some knowledge of the administration of justice; and

·       A track record of achievement at the highest levels in one of the following areas:

o   recruitment & talent management, particularly for the most senior roles

o   communications and public affairs

o   academia or medicine

o   diversity and widening representation

o   governance and business management, whether in the public or private sector, including audit and risk or digital services.

Judicial (Tribunal Judge) Commissioner post

·       Active involvement in organisations engaging with tribunal judges across tribunal jurisdictions;

·       Recent and substantial understanding or experience of appointments processes in different environments; and

·       An understanding of the tribunal system more generally, including assignment and deployment policies.

Non-legally qualified judicial Commissioner post

·       Active involvement in organisations engaging with either Magistrates’ or Tribunal Members; and

·       Recent and substantial understanding or experience of appointments processes in different environments

·       Understanding of the role of non-legally qualified tribunal member in the health, education or social care sector

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to create an account or sign in.

Once you are logged into your account, click on 'apply for this role' and follow the on-screen instructions. To apply, all candidates are required to provide:

  • a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • a supporting statement
  • equality information
  • information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues

We will ask you to check and confirm your personal details to ensure your application is accurate.

You will also have the opportunity to make a reasonable adjustment request or apply under the disability confident scheme before you submit your application.

Overview of the application process

Public appointments are made on merit following a fair and open competition process which is conducted in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages. We aim to conclude the appointment process within three months of the deadline for applications – this is in accordance with the Governance Code.

The assessment process

  1. Ministers are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the public appointments made within their department. As a result, they must be consulted at every stage of the appointments process.

  2. An Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) is appointed by Ministers to assist them in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.

  3. At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates have best met the criteria, who should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist. If you have applied under the Disability Confident Scheme and you meet all the essential criteria, then you will also be invited for an interview.

  4. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised (by e-mail) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview.

  5. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who is appointable to the role. The Panel may invite you to make a brief presentation at the start of the interview and will go on to question you about your skills and experience, including asking specific questions to assess whether you meet the criteria set out for the post. The Panel will also explore with you any potential conflicts of interest or any other issues arising from your personal and professional history which may impact on an appointment decision.

  6. Details of the panel’s assessment of interviewed candidates are provided to Ministers, including whether they have judged a candidate to be appointable to the role. It is then for Ministers to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.

  7. Ministers may choose to meet with candidates before deciding the outcome. Candidates should therefore be prepared for a short time gap between interview and a final appointment decision being made. Candidates who have been interviewed will be kept informed of progress.

  8. Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application, including whom they may approach for feedback. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.

Further information about appointments, including tips on applying, can be found on our guidance pages on

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP) listed below are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. The panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAP’s perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.
  • Lord Bew, Chair of the House of Lords Appointments Commission (Panel Chair)
  • The Rt Hon Lady Justice Thirlwall DBE, Lady Justice of the Court of Appeal
  • TBC (Independent Panel Member)
  • Helen Pitcher OBE, Chair of the JAC

Eligibility criteria

There must be no employment restrictions, or time limit on your permitted stay in the UK.  We welcome applications from all those who are eligible.

Lay Commissioner posts

As per paragraph 8 of the Judicial Appointments Commission Regulations 2013, a lay member of the Commission is a person who lives in England or Wales who has never:

(a) held an office listed in Schedule 14 to the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 or any equivalent office internationally,

(b) been a member of a panel appointed under regulation 8(1) and (3)(b) and (c) of the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004, or

(c) practised or been employed as a lawyer.

A practising or employed lawyer, includes: 

·      a barrister in England and Wales

·      a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales

·      an advocate in Scotland

·      a solicitor in Scotland

·      a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland

·      a solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland or

·      a fellow of the Centre of Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

Please note that if the applicant is a magistrate, he or she is ineligible to be a lay Commissioner as he or she holds a listed judicial office.

Tribunal Judge post (salaried judges are preferred for this post)

To be eligible for this position, candidates must have at least 3 years’ experience and hold one of the offices set out in paragraph 4 (3) of the Judicial Appointments Commission Regulations 2013:

  • Judge of the First-tier Tribunal appointment under paragraph 1 (1) of Schedule 2 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007
  • Transferred-in judge of the First-tier Tribunals (see section 31 (2) of the Act)
  • Regional Employment Judge appointed under regulation 6 (1) of the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulation 2004
  • Employment Judge (England and Wales) appointed under regulation 8 (1) and (3) (a) of those Regulations
 Non-Legally Qualified Judicial Commissioner post
As per paragraph 6 of the Judicial Appointments Commission Regulations 2013:

(1)(1) A non-legally qualified judicial member is a person who—

(a) holds an office referred to in paragraph (2); and

(b) has never practised or been employed as a lawyer.

(2) The offices referred to in paragraph (1)(a) are—

(a) an office listed in Part 3 of Schedule 14 to the 2005 Act (Tribunal-related and other appointments);

(b) justice of the peace;

(c) transferred-in other member of the First-tier Tribunal or of the Upper Tribunal (see section 31(2) of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007);

(d) member of the Employment Appeal Tribunal appointed under section 22(1)(c) of the Employment Tribunals Act 1996);

(e) member of a panel appointed under regulation 8(1) and (3)(b) and (c) of the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004).

If you need further advice, please contact  Colin Barker at

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Additional Security Clearance may also be required for certain roles. However, where this applies, candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the website here.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.
We collect data about applicants’ characteristics and backgrounds, including information about people’s educational and professional backgrounds, so that we can make sure we are attracting a broad range of people to these roles and that our selection processes are fair for everyone. Without this information, it makes it difficult to see if our outreach is working, if the application process is having an unfair impact on certain groups and whether changes are making a positive difference.
When you submit your application, your responses are collected by the Cabinet Office and the government department(s) managing your application. The data is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel who review applications against the advertised criteria and conduct interviews.

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 
As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the essential criteria for the role, set out in the advert, and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

Reasonable adjustments

We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving additional detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life. These are:
  1. Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
  2. Integrity - Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
  3. Objectivity - Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
  4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
  5. Openness - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
  6. Honesty - Holders of public office should be truthful.
  7. Leadership - Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

As this is an office holder appointment, you will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. There is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking into account a number of factors including, but not restricted to, the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience. In most cases, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

Commissioners are remunerated at £338.33 per day. Remuneration is taxable and subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions. The role is not pensionable and remuneration may be abated if receiving a public service pension

Commissioners who receive a full salary from the public purse do not receive additional remuneration.

Reasonable travel expenses will be paid for journeys from home to the main office, if Commissioners live outside of London. Travel and subsistence allowances may be payable on the same basis as that applicable to civil servants where the post holder is required to travel to other locations or stay overnight in the course of their duties.

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon the end of your term of appointment because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

If you have a complaint about any aspect of the way your application has been handled, we would like to hear from you. In the first instance please write to or e-mail the Public Appointments Team at the address or e-mail address given below quoting the appropriate reference number.

Maggie Garrett, Ministry of Justice, Head of the Public Appointments Team, ALB Centre of Expertise, Ministry of Justice, E-mail address:

Complaints must be received by the Public Appointments Team within 12 calendar months of the issue or the closure of the recruitment competition, whichever is the later.

We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days of receipt and reply within 20 working days of receipt. We will tell you if we cannot meet this deadline for any reason and provide an expected reply date.

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

In accordance with the Public Appointments Order in Council 2019(4)(5), we will process your application in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Ministry of Justice’s Information Charter, which can be found at

Your data will be held securely and access will be restricted to those dealing with your application or involved in the recruitment process. Your data may also be shared with the Commissioner for Public Appointments and other relevant government departments, including the Cabinet Office, as part of a complaint investigation or review of the recruitment process. Cabinet Office will handle data in accordance with their Privacy Notice  Your data may also be disclosed as required by law or in connection with legal proceedings.

Your data will be stored for up to two years and processed for the purpose of the recruitment process, diversity monitoring and, if successful, your personal record. If appointed, your data will be stored for the duration of your tenure and may be shared with the organisation to which you are appointed, unless you specifically request us not to.

Should you wish your data to be removed from our records, please contact

Contact details

Colin Barker on 07376 212 108 (quote PAT160073 in any correspondence) or by e-mail to;