1. In my last report , I recommended, given the wide variation
in the amount of information provided by applicants in the
self-assessment part of the application form (one to 26 pages),
that consideration is given to the introduction of a word limit.
Applicants should also be encouraged to focus on the Criteria for
Recommendation set out in Guide for Applicants. I also recommended
that if applicants provide a list of cases they wish to rely on,
they should provide a brief explanation of the significance of each
case and the reason for referring to it. Consideration should be
given to the need for additional information provided by Solicitor
Advocates in the ‘Work as a Solicitor Advocate’ part of
the application form as the same opportunity to provide a
curriculum vitae is not afforded to Advocate applicants.
I understand that the Lord Justice General intends to give consideration to these recommendations as part of a review of the application form and the Guide for Applicants.
2. I noted in my last report that where a Senator is providing a reference for an applicant, it is not clear whether further comment and scoring is required. I recommended that clarification is provided in order to ensure a consistent approach, whether additional comment and scoring is required as part of the assessment. This suggestion could form part of the discussion regarding simplification of the process for recommendation proposed by the Lord Justice General. I understand that this would involve a small number of senators being appointed to consult and comment on applications. This would address the high percentage of judges who have insufficient knowledge to comment on applications.
3. Finally, I understand that the number of applicants seeking feedback on their applications has been disappointing. There are a number of repeat applications by unsuccessful candidates in previous years. Feedback would provide applicants with useful information regarding their application and the opportunity to address any perceived deficiencies. I recommend that as part of the review of the Guide for Applicants, consideration is given to developing the process for feedback to encourage applicants to seek comment on unsuccessful applications.
19 July 2016
Email: Freya Liddle, firstname.lastname@example.org