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Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

Section 18: Qualification for appointment

37.This section provides for changes to the appointment criteria for Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, the Lord Chief Justice, Lords Justices of Appeal, High Court Judges, county court judges (and deputy county court judges), resident magistrates and coroners and statutory officers listed in Schedule 3 of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 (including district judges). Currently many of these posts are only open to barristers or to solicitors and appointment depends on ‘practice’ (the period spent actively working as a barrister or solicitor) or ‘standing’ (the period since being called to the Bar or admitted as a solicitor). The section makes these posts (apart from that of Official Solicitor (subsection (8)) available to both barristers and solicitors and makes the qualifying criterion ‘standing’ alone. Subsection (10) makes it clear that a person is qualified to be appointed as the Crown Solicitor if he is a solicitor or a barrister.

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