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Judicial Appointments Commission

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, when the Lord Chancellor intends to bring forward proposals for an Independent Judicial Appointments Commission. [119977]

I refer my hon. Friend to the statement I made on 19 June 2003, Official Report, column 19WS.

To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, what plans he has to establish a judicial appointments commission; and if he will make a statement. [120000]

I refer my hon. Friend to the statement I made on 19 June 2003, Official Report, column 19WS.

To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, if he will make a statement on the arrangements for the appointment of (a) Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, (b) Lord Justices of Appeal, (c) High Court judges, (d) circuit judges, (e) district judges, (f) magistrates and (g) recorders as a result of the exercise of the powers of the Lord Chancellor by the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, pending the proposed creation of a judicial appointments commission. [120020]

My hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor will continue to carry out all the responsibilities of the office of the Lord Chancellor, including in relating to judicial appointments until a new Judicial Appointments Commission is established.

To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (1) if the Secretary of State will ensure that there is a representative group of non-lawyers on a Judicial Appointments Commission; [120246](2) whether a Judicial Appointments Commission will assume responsibility for the training and continuing education of judges; [120247](3) whether the Judicial Appointments Commission will assume responsibility for judicial discipline; [120249](4) whether the Judicial Appointments Commission will become responsible for the appointment of

(a) lay and (b) professional magistrates; [120251]

(5) what measures the Secretary of State will take to ensure that the judiciary becomes more representative of society. [120245]

I refer the hon. Member for Redcar to the statement I made on 19 June 2003, Official Report, column 19WS. The Government have undertaken to publish a consultation paper on the arrangements for the new Judicial Appointments Commission before the summer recess. Decisions will be taken on the specific role and functions of the Commission and its composition after the consultation exercise has been completed.