chapter  2
5 Pages

The JAC’s first ten years

ByChristopher Stephens CBE

Prior to Christopher Stephens's appointment as Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) in 2011, he had read much about the arrangements that existed before the CRA and in particular before the creation of the JAC: judges were appointed by a politician, the Lord Chancellor. The CRA provided a greater and clearer separation of powers and the JAC was the instrument though which the CRA would ensure future judicial appointments would be made more independently, with greater openness and transparency. It provided a clear statutory focus on increasing diversity while ensuring that selections were to be made solely on merit. The creation of the JAC also introduced a lay element to bring broader perspectives to the process. Due to the expertise the JAC has developed, it has received an increasing number of requests to advise on, assist with or run selection exercises beyond its core statutory responsibilities.