JUSTICE response: Modernising judicial terms and conditions

JUSTICE has responded to the UK Government’s proposals to modernise judicial terms and conditions.

While JUSTICE supports the introduction of a single non-renewable fixed term for Recorders and Deputy High Court Judges, we argue that it will not solve our judiciary’s pressing diversity crisis alone. The Government’s proposals should sit alongside more wide-ranging reforms to ensure diversity is a key priority for the judiciary in the future. We must increase the number of female and BAME (black and minority ethnic) candidates who are appointed to fee-paid and salaried positions, especially in the senior courts where they are significantly underrepresented.

The ‘Modernising Judicial Terms and Conditions’ consultation proposals include:

  • Introducing a new single fixed term for fee-paid judges.
  • Introducing the ability to recruit to leadership positions for a fixed term, with accompanying temporary remuneration.
  • Introducing a requirement for existing salaried and fee-paid judges to provide notice of intention to resign or retire.

Our response warns that proper human resources management is essential for the judiciary, as well as continuous professional development. We suggest that sponsorship/mentoring of new judges by senior judges may be particularly helpful.

JUSTICE’s recently established a Working Party on diversity in the senior judiciary and will publish its recommendations in spring 2017.

JUSTICE’s response to the consultation can be found here.