Judicial Appointments Commission

The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) 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.

The JAC selects candidates for judicial office on merit, through fair and open competition, from the widest range of eligible candidates.

The Commission was set up on 3 April 2006 – under the terms of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 –  in order to maintain and strengthen judicial independence by taking responsibility for selecting candidates for judicial office out of the hands of the Lord Chancellor and making the appointments process clearer and more accountable.

The JAC is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. Its aims and objectives are agreed with the Lord Chancellor.

There are 15 Commissioners, including the Chairman. All are recruited and appointed through open competition with the exception of three judicial members who are selected either by the Judges’ Council or the Tribunals’ Council. Membership of the Commission is drawn from the judiciary, the legal profession, non-legally qualified judicial officer holders and the public.