This policy sets out the procedure for authorising candidates to sit as deputy High Court judges under section 9(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981.
The Commission agreed the section 9(1) policy in 2014 following changes introduced by the Crime and Courts Act 2013.
Anyone authorised to sit as a deputy High Court judge before October 2013 is not affected.
Why apply for section 9(1) exercises?
Candidates who are successful in these exercises will not be appointed immediately but will become part of a pool.
The Lord Chief Justice can then make authorisations from this pool for people to sit as deputy High Court judges when required.
It is a valuable opportunity to gain visibility and develop judicial skills at a higher level of complexity.
An authorisation is seen as an important step towards permanent appointment to the High Court, although it is not a prerequisite.
Who is eligible to apply?
Candidates for section 9(1) exercises must be:
- Circuit judges
- Qualifying tribunal judges:
- (a) Chamber President, or a Deputy Chamber President, of a chamber of the Upper Tribunal or of a chamber of the First-tier Tribunal
- (b) judge of the Upper Tribunal by virtue of appointment under paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 3 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (TCEA)
- (c) transferred-in judge of the Upper Tribunal (see Section 31(2) of the TCEA)
- (d) deputy judge of the Upper Tribunal (whether under paragraph 7 of Schedule 3 to, or Section 31(2) of, the TCEA)
- (e) President of Employment Tribunals (England and Wales) or the President of Employment Tribunals (Scotland)
Candidates must submit an application and a self-assessment, and sometimes also a sample of written work.
The JAC will then request a statement of a candidate’s suitability for the post from a relevant leadership judge, such as:
- Senior President of Tribunals
- Chamber President
- Chancery Supervising judge
- Presiding Judge
- Judge-in-charge of a specialist jurisdiction or Family Division Liaison Judge
Applicants will need to demonstrate the ability to deal with cases that would otherwise be dealt with by a High Court judge, or the potential to acquire this ability.
The Commission will recommend candidates to the Lord Chief Justice for membership of the pool. The Lord Chief Justice will then consult the Lord Chancellor before authorising candidates to sit as deputy High Court judges.
Salary information for deputy High Court judges is available from the Ministry of Justice.
The above selection process will not apply under certain exceptional criteria which were agreed following consultation with the judiciary.
You can read about these criteria in the section 9(1) policy