13 May 2014
Kate Malleson, Professor of Law at Queen Mary University of London and Graham Gee, Lecturer at Birmingham Law School, have written an article for the UK Constitutional Law Association (UKCLA) blog.
"One of the changes introduced by the Crime and Courts Act 2013 was to amend section 63 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which provides that the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) must select candidates for judicial office ‘solely on merit’. Schedule 13 of the 2013 Act clarified that making selections solely on merit does not prevent the JAC from recommending a candidate on the basis of improving diversity on the bench where there are two candidates of equal merit. This is variously known as the ‘equal merit’, ‘tie-break’ or ‘tipping point’ provision and derives from s 159 of the Equality Act 2010. After a consultation exercise last summer, the JAC last month published its policy on how it will implement the equal merit provision. In this post, we draw on research conducted as part of an AHRC-funded project on The Politics of Judicial Independence to explain why the JAC’s policy is disappointingly cautious, limits the prospect of further progress on diversity and offers further evidence of what we believe is the excessive judicial influence on judicial appointments..."
Read the full blog post G. Gee and K. Malleson, ‘Judicial Appointments, Diversity and the Equal Merit Provision’ U.K. Const. L. Blog (6th May 2014).