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Judicial Appointments

Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 makes provision for a new appointments process for Justices of the United Kingdom Supreme Court. The Act brings these provisions into effect once the Court is operational. The new arrangements aim to increase public confidence in the appointments process by creating greater transparency of appointments and improving competition for these positions. I believe that it is sensible to adopt the new process from now on. This is because those newly appointed to the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords will spend the majority of their career in the Supreme Court.

I will therefore adopt Section 8 of the Constitutional Reform Act on a voluntary basis, as any new appointments made will help to determine the character of the Court. This decision does not impact upon other provisions within the Act that will come into force when the Supreme Court opens for business in October 2009.

A selection commission will be formed when vacancies arise. This will be composed of the President and Deputy President of the Supreme Court and members of the appointment bodies for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. All new judges appointed to the Supreme Court after its creation will not be Members of the House of Lords; they will become Justices of the Supreme Court.