Today the Judicial Appointments Commission has launched a consultation on how to apply the ‘equal merit’ provision in the Crime and Courts Act 2013.
The equal merit provision clarifies that the JAC's statutory duty to make selections 'solely on merit' (Section 63(2) Constitutional Reform Act 2005)) does not prevent it from selecting one candidate over another for the purpose of increasing judicial diversity where two candidates are of equal merit. You may have read or heard this provision being referred to as the 'tipping factor' or 'tie-break' provision.
The consultation seeks views on how and at what point in the selection process the provision might best be applied and to which groups of people. To find out more and to respond, see the consultation part of the website.
The closing date for responses is 5 August 2013.
The Commission is committed to the principle of appointment on merit and only the most meritorious candidates will continue to be recommended for appointment.
The equal merit provision is one of a number of provisions in the Crime and Courts Act which alter the arrangements for making judicial appointments. A number of the changes have been designed to support greater diversity throughout the appointments process. For more information on diversity, see this section of the website. The JAC has given a commitment to consult on how it plans to implement relevant measures in the Act.