This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Independent Judicial Appointments Board
The radical reform of the way judges and sheriffs are appointed in Scotland takes full effect today with the appointment of the new board who will interview and recommend suitable candidates to the First Minister.
Justice Minister, Jim Wallace has today announced the members of the first ever Judicial Appointments Board who will be responsible for taking forward the new modernised recruitment process which involves:
- Posts for sheriffs and judges being advertised in the press.
- Applicants being interviewed by the Board.
- Suitable candidates being recommended to the First Minister for appointment.
Jim Wallace said:
"When I became Justice Minister the process for appointing judges and sheriffs was shrouded in mystery. Today we have a modern recruitment process which will increase the public's confidence in the appointment process and bring transparency in keeping with the expectations of a modern democracy.
"The Judicial Appointments Board heralds this new process and we have been fortunate to secure the services of such an eminent and experienced group of people. The Board has a key role to play in Scotland's justice system, as the task of identifying people to serve as Judges, as Sheriffs Principals and as Sheriffs is a very important one.
"The Board will start work immediately and I wish them well."
Membership of the new independent Judicial Appointments Board will be:
Mrs Barbara Duffner, Professor Alan Paterson, Sir Robert Smith, Professor Joan Stringer, Lord MacLean, Sheriff Principal Bruce Kerr QC, Sheriff Douglas Allan, Mr Colin Campbell QC and Mr Michael Scanlan.
The appointment of the Chair, Sir Neil McIntosh, was announced in April.
The Board will receive guidance from Ministers, but will decide their own procedures. It will be expected to undertake the recruitment of members of the judiciary and to provide the First Minister with a list of candidates that it considers suitable for appointment.
The establishment of the Board follows a public consultation on the arrangements for judicial appointments. The majority of respondents favoured the establishment of an independent Board.
Sir Neil McIntosh CBE has had an extensive career in local government and public service, latterly as chief executive of Strathclyde Regional Council (1992-1996).
Mrs Barbara Duffner OBE is the Head of Personnel North for Consignia.
Professor Alan Paterson is Director of the Centre for Professional Legal Studies and Professor of Law at Strathclyde University.
Sir Robert Smith is chief executive of Deutsche Asset Management.
Professor Joan Stringer CBE is currently the principal of Queen Margaret University College and has recently been announced as the next principal of Napier University.
Lord Maclean is a Judge of the Court of Session.
Sheriff Principal Bruce Kerr QC is Sheriff Principal of North Strathclyde.
Sheriff Douglas Allan is a Sheriff of Lothian and Borders at Edinburgh and a past President of the Sheriffs Association.
Mr Colin Campbell QC is a practising advocate and is Dean of the Faculty of Advocates.
Mr Michael Scanlan is a solicitor and partner in the firm of Russells Gibson McCafferty. He was formerly President of the Law Society of Scotland.
The consultation paper Judicial Appointments an Inclusive Approach, which proposed the establishment of an independent judicial appointments board, was issued in April 2000. The majority of respondents to the consultation exercise supported the proposal. In March 2001, the Justice Minister, Jim Wallace announced the Executive's intention to establish an independent Judicial Appointments Board. The Board comprises a lay Chair, 4 lay members, a Court of Session Judge, a Sheriff Principal, a Sheriff, an advocate and a solicitor. The appointment of the Chair, Sir Neil McIntosh was announced on 8 April.