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s9(1) Authorisation to act as a High Court Judge

The Judicial Appointments Commission has been asked to identify up to 35 candidates to recommend for authorisation to act as judges of the High Court in accordance with s9(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981.

Successful candidates could be deployed to sit across any of the three divisions of the High Court (Chancery, Family and the Queen’s Bench) and anywhere in England and Wales. At the time of launch, the JAC will publish a breakdown of the current business need to better enable candidates to assess where successful candidates are likely to be deployed. This is subject to change throughout the course of the exercise.

Those authorised to act as a judge of the High Court will be expected to undertake work which would otherwise be undertaken by salaried High Court judges. Candidates applying for this post must be of high calibre, exceptional ability and able to demonstrate the same skills and abilities as those in the High Court.

Successful candidates will be authorised for a fixed term of 4 years.

Who can apply

You are eligible to apply for this post if you hold one of the following judicial offices:

  • Chamber President or Deputy Chamber President of a chamber of the Upper Tribunal or of a chamber of the First-tier Tribunal
  • Judge or Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal
  • President of Employment Tribunals (England and Wales) or President of Employment Tribunals (Scotland)
  • Circuit Judge
  • Recorder

For the Queen’s Bench Division, expertise in any of the Division’s work is desirable.

In addition, candidates should be able to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of 4 years, before the statutory retirement age of 70.

The Commission encourages diversity and welcomes applications from groups currently under represented in the judiciary. The principles of fair and open competition will apply and recommendation for appointment will be made solely on merit.

About the process

Throughout the selection process, candidates will be assessed against the Skills and Abilities . The skills and abilities are grouped into 3 areas that list the behaviours of a person authorised to act as a judge of the High Court who is performing the role effectively.

The exercise will launch in late September 2019 and the application window will be 3 weeks. Candidates are required to provide a statement of suitability demonstrating the required skills and abilities. The JAC will also request a statement of suitability from each candidate’s nominated leadership judge.

Shortlisting will be by way of a paper sift based on the information in the statements of suitability provided by both the candidate and by the leadership judge. Those who are shortlisted will be invited to attend an interview which will involve questions relating to the skills and abilities.

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