The JAC has published its Official Statistics Bulletin for selection exercises completed during 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016. Importantly, and for the first time, the bulletin includes data for the last 3 years on senior judicial appointments (those above the High Court but below the Supreme Court).
In addition to senior appointments, the bulletin covers 22 selection exercises completed in April 2015 to March 2016, which attracted a total of 2,439 candidates.
The JAC made 308 recommendations for judicial appointment during this period. Six exercises were large enough (10 or more recommendations) to be reported individually without the risk of identifying candidates. All diversity characteristics are those that candidates have chosen to declare voluntarily.
The diversity information covers: gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and disability.
- women made up 45% of those recommended for appointment overall (140 of 308 recommendations)
- in 2 of the 5 large legal exercises women were recommended in line with or close to their level in the eligible pool. In the District Judge and District Judge (Magistrates’ Court) exercises they were recommended at a considerably higher level than the pool
- candidates who declared themselves to be BAME represented 16% of applications (387 candidates) and 9% of all recommendations (28 candidates)
- the proportion of BAME candidates was equal to or greater than their level in the eligible pool in 4 of the 5 legal exercises; the exception was Circuit Judge. In the Deputy High Court Judge and District Judge (Magistrates’ Court) exercises, BAME candidates went on to be recommended in line with or above their level in the eligible pool
- solicitors comprised 13% of those recommended overall; 4 (24%) were recommended in the District Judge (Magistrates’ Court) exercise
- in 3 of the 5 large legal exercises, over half of candidates did not declare their current legal role: 89% (1,050) did not declare for Recorder, and this exercise (1,178 applicants) accounted for just under half of the overall number of applications received in this reporting period (2,439). Large numbers of candidates also did not complete diversity data for the District Judge and Circuit Judge selection exercises
- candidates who declared a disability represented 3% of those recommended for appointment (9 of 308 recommendations)
- 4 candidates with a disability were successful in the Recorder exercise (4%)
- over half (54%) of all those recommended were aged between 46 and 65
- candidates who identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual represented 4% of applicants, 4% of those shortlisted and 5% of recommendations across all exercises reported in this bulletin
The JAC statistics report on the use of the equal merit provision, which has been available for all exercises launched from 1 July 2014. The provision means that where there are 2 or more candidates of equal merit, a candidate may be selected for a post for the purpose of increasing judicial diversity. During the reporting period, there were 14 instances where an individual was selected following application of the JAC’s equal merit policy.
Diversity data provided in the selection exercises for senior judicial posts above the High Court that ran during 2012 to 2015 are also included in this bulletin for the first time.
- in this period there were 74 applications for senior roles
- a total of 21 recommendations were made
- women represented 12% (9) of applications and 19% (4) of recommendations
Statistics bulletin 2015–16
Statistics tables 2015–16
Statistics definitions and measurement 2015–16
- The Official Statistics Bulletin has changed from a bi-annual to an annual publication following a public consultation in November 2015.
- The JAC selects candidates for judicial office on merit, through fair and open competition, from the widest range of eligible candidates. One of the JAC’s key statutory responsibilities is to have regard to the need to encourage diversity in the range of candidates available for selection for appointments.
- The diversity data for the official statistics includes aggregated data on a group of 16 small exercises where the number of applicants and recommendations for appointment are too small to be shown separately, while maintaining candidate confidentiality.
- The 6 exercises large enough to be reported individually without risk of identifying candidates were: Circuit Judge; Recorder; District Judge; District Judge (Magistrates’ Court); Valuation Tribunal Chairmen and Members and Deputy High Court Judge.
- No High Court selection exercise completed during the year 2015–16.
- The JAC is responsible for running selection exercises for posts up to and including the High Court. It also has statutory responsibilities to respond to requests from the Lord Chancellor to convene panels that recommend candidates for appointment to other senior posts. These include Lord Chief Justice, Heads of Division and Lord Justices of Appeal. The JAC provides the secretariat for these exercises and at least 2 JAC Commissioners sit on each 5-member panel.
- The eligible pool provides a context for the diversity statistics of different selection exercises. It presents the gender, ethnicity and professional background of everyone who meets the formal eligibility criteria and additional selection criteria for a post. Further detail can be found in the Definitions and Measurement document that accompanies the statistics.