10 suggestions for improving the judicial appointments process

Anyone interested in sitting part-time or full-time needs to understand how the JAC’s selection process is evolving. It has changed significantly over the past 6 months with the introduction of  new competency frameworks, on-line applications and multiple-choice qualifying tests for some competitions.

Based on my experience of working with scores of candidates across most of these recent competitions – can I suggest the following:

1. publish the competencies further in advance for each role;

2. work with law lecturers on developing appropriate qualifying tests;

3. continue to test the tests and make sure they work and the instructions are clear;

4. when problems arise have a consistent and open policy;

5. give less weight to references;

6. schedule any qualifying tests before full applications;

7. review selection and train judicial interviewers;

8. update and engage more regularly with candidates throughout the progress;

9. continue with the excellent roadshows;

10. make short videos with successful candidates sharing their experiences.

I think the JAC have a massive challenge with very tight resources and an oversupply of excellent candidates. I also think in the main they do an excellent job and I hope they continue to listen, learn and develop. It is all our interests that the best candidates are selected on merit and that excellent candidates are not put off applying because of a negative experience.

Please do post a comment or add a suggestion or feel free to contact me: 0796 999 7335 or

Please click on the links for some simple advice and tips on drafting your application and preparing for your interview. If you prefer you can watch theses brief videos: application forms and interviews.



I had a very constructive meeting with senior JAC personnel on 17 June 2015:

“Thanks again for all the feedback – it is very helpful for our continuous review of our selection processes.”