|Type||advisory non-departmental public body|
|Headquarters||Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5HE|
|Parent agency||Scottish Government|
Scotland in the UK and Europe
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The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland is an advisory non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government responsible for making recommendations on appointments to certain offices of the judiciary of Scotland. It was established in June 2002 on a non-statutory, ad hoc, basis by the Scottish Government, and was given statutory authority by the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008.
All recommendations are made to the First Minister, who must consult the Lord President of the Court of Session before making a recommendation to the monarch in relation to full-time, permanent, judiciary, or before any appointments are made by Scottish Ministers to temporary or part-time judicial office.
The board does not make recommendations for, or have any in role in the appointment of, justices of the peace, whose appointments are made by Scottish Ministers on the recommendation of Justice of the Peace Advisory Committees for each sheriffdom.
The Judicial Appointments Board was established in June 2002 on a non-statutory, ad hoc, basis by the Scottish Government, and was given statutory authority by the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. The board was established on a statutory basis following criticism of its perceived lack of independence from political interference by the executive, and following the Scottish Government's consultation Strengthening Judicial Independence in a Modern Scotland.
In 2002 the board initially had equal numbers of lay and legally qualified members: 5 lay members, 3 judicial members, and 2 members from the legal profession (advocate and solicitors). The method of creating the board and appointing members was not without criticism. The Law Society of Scotland in its members' magazine Journal was critical that the appointments process did not follow procedures recommended by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, and the chair of the board is a lay member, a situation said to be "unique in Europe", where the norm is for self-governing bodies to control judicial appointments.
In 2006 Sir Neil McIntosh, chair of the board, was critical that the Scottish Executive did not put the board on a statutory footing, as is the case for the Judicial Appointments Commission in England.
The board continues to be chaired by a lay member, who is appointed to the position by the Scottish Ministers. The chairing member is appointed for a maximum of 4 years, and may be reappointed.
All recommendations are made to the First Minister, who must consult the Lord President of the Court of Session before making his or her recommendation to the monarch in relation to full-time judiciary. Appointments to the offices of temporary sheriff principal, part-time sheriffs and part-time summary sheriffs are made by the Scottish Ministers.
The board has 12 members, with 4 judicial members appointed by the Lord President, and 2 legal members and 6 lay members appointed by the Scottish Ministers. Judicial members include 2 appointed from the Court of Session (but may not be either the Lord President or Lord Justice Clerk), a sheriff principal, and a sheriff. The legal members include an advocate and a solicitor.
As of February 2019, current board members were:
Chairing members are always lay members of the board, and are appointed for a period of 4 years (up to a maximum of 8 years). The chairing member receives a daily fee of £350, and is eligible to claim expenses incurred whilst on board business.
|Chairing member||Year assumed office||Year left office||Appointed by|
|1||Sir Neil McIntosh CBE DL||2002||2008||Jack McConnell|
|2||Sir Muir Russell KCB FRSE||2008||2010||Alex Salmond|
|3||Dr Michael Ewart||2010||2016||Alex Salmond (2010)|
Nicola Sturgeon (2016)
|3||Mrs Nicola Gordon||2016||Incumbent||Nicola Sturgeon (2016)|
Judicial members are appointed for 4 years (up to a maximum of 8 years) and receive no fees for work undertaken, though they may claim for incurred on board business.
|Judicial member||Judicial office||Year assumed office||Year left office||Appointed by|
|Lord MacLean||Senator of the College of Justice||2002||2005||Lord President Cullen|
|Bruce Kerr QC||Sheriff principal||2002||2007||Lord President Cullen|
|J Douglas Allan OBE||Sheriff||2002||2008||Lord President Cullen|
|Lord Wheatley||Senator of the College of Justice||2005||2007||Lord President Cullen|
|Sir Stephen Young QC Bt||Sheriff principal||2007||2010||Lord President Hamilton|
Legal members are appointed for 4 years (up to a maximum of 8 years) and receive a fee of £290 per day of board work, and they may claim for incurred on board business.
|Legal member||Legal office||Year assumed office||Year left office||Appointed by|
|Mr Colin Campbell QC||Advocate||2002||2005||Lord President Cullen|
|Mr Michael Scanlan||Solicitor||2002||2008||Lord President Cullen|
|Mrs Valerie Stacey QC||Advocate||2005||2007||Lord President Cullen|
|Mr Roy Martin QC||Advocate||2007||2010||Lord President Hamilton|
Lay members are appointed for 4 years (up to a maximum of 8 years) and receive a fee of £290 per day of board work, and they may claim for incurred on board business.
|Lay member||Year assumed office||Year left office||Appointed by|
|Mrs Barbara Duffner OBE FRSE||2002||2008||Jack McConnell|
|Professor Joan Stringer CBE||2002||2007||Jack McConnell|
|Professor Alan Paterson||2002||2008||Jack McConnell|
|Sir Robert Smith||2002||2007||Jack McConnell|
|Reverend John Miller||2009||2010||Nicola Sturgeon|
The board has a remit for making recommendations on appointments to judicial offices as specified by Section 10 of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008.
The board is supported by its Business Management Unit, which is independent of the Scottish Government, and is based in Edinburgh at Thistle House. The team is headed by Chief Executive, Mr John Craig.
The members of the board are supported in sifting and interviewing candidates for judicial officer, and have all the powers of a lay member of the board except they cannot take part in the decision making of the board. The board has appointed 3 lay assistants for a period of 3 years from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018, and they may be appointed for a further 3 years.
|Name||Date appointed||Date appointment ends|
|Mr David Robinson||1 January 2016||31 December 2018|
|Mr John Cummings||1 January 2016||31 December 2018|
|Mrs Elizabeth Burnley||1 January 2016||31 December 2018|
In February, the Scottish Executive issued a consultation paper on whether the Board should be placed on a statutory basis. I regret that attaining statutory status is not yet law.