Search Legislation

Constitutional Reform Act 2005

Section 27:  Selection process

101.This section sets out the overall process which must be undertaken by the selection commission (the composition of which is provided for in Schedule 8) before it makes a selection of one name (subsection 10) and puts this to the Lord Chancellor (under section 28). Subsection (1) sets out the duties of the commission with regard to the particular selection process to be applied to each vacancy under consideration.

102.As provided for in subsections (5) and (6) selection must be made solely on merit. The task of setting out the criteria or competences against which merit will be tested lies with the commission. The commission can only recommend those who meet the eligibility requirements set out in section 25. Under subsection (7) anyone who is a member of the commission cannot be selected (hence the provisions in Schedule 8 for identifying persons who wish to be considered for a particular vacancy and disqualifying them from membership of the commission).

103.Subsection (8) provides that the commission must, when making selections for the appointment of judges, also take into account the need for the Court to have among its judges those with knowledge and experience of practice in the law in every part of the United Kingdom. This is intended to maintain the convention that currently applies to the House of Lords that there should generally be at least 2 Scottish judges and usually 1 from Northern Ireland. The Lord Chancellor, as provided for by subsection (9), may issue non-binding guidance to the commission about the vacancy that has arisen, for example on the jurisdictional requirements of the Court, which the commission must have regard to.

104.Subsections (2) and (3) list the persons the commission must consult during the selection process (although it may consult others). They are (subsection (2)): senior judges (as defined by Section 60) who are neither on the commission nor willing to be considered for selection, the Lord Chancellor, the First Minister in Scotland, the Assembly First Secretary in Wales and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In addition (subsection (3)), the commission must, if all the “senior judges” for a part of the United Kingdom are not able to be consulted (because they are candidates or members of the commission), consult the next most senior judge in that part who is able to be consulted. This ensures that there will always be some senior judicial input from every part of the United Kingdom into every selection process.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources