Publication - FOI/EIR release

Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland (JABS): members' appointment: FOI release

Published: 4 Jul 2018

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
4 Jul 2018
Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland (JABS): members' appointment: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/01628
Date received: 7 June 2018
Date responded: 3 July 2018

Information requested

1. Details of who appoints members of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland. For the avoidance of doubt, the exact Scottish Minister(s) who appoint members to JABS;

2. A "true-copy" of a specimen 'letter of appointment' for members of JABS and the terms and conditions of their appointment;

3. A "true-copy" of any Employment contract between the Scottish Administration, or Scottish Ministers, and members of JABS;

4. Confirmation from Scottish Ministers that the procedures between Scottish Ministers and JABS is compliant with article 6 of the EuropeanConvention of Human Rights. For the avoidance of doubt, and giving full consideration to the Separation of Powers between the Judiciary and the Executive, do the Judicial appointments recommended by JABS, and the recommendations appointed by Scottish Ministers, comply with article 6 of the ECHR?

5. If the answer is in the affirmative to point 4, what evidence do Scottish Ministers cite which would support any such claim? It is my contention that Scottish Ministers and the Judiciary in Scotland, are not compliant with article 6 of the ECHR. In addition, where the Executive are directly responsible for the appointment of Judicial positions, the Judiciary cannot claim to be 'independent and impartial'. In my opinion, the only way for the Judiciary to be 'independent and impartial' is to be elected to their position, not appointed by the Executive.

Response

1. While the statutory power enables any of the Scottish Ministers to make appointments, in practice it is usually the Cabinet Secretary for Justice who appoints members of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.

2. I enclose a "true-copy" of a letter of appointment for members of JABS appointed by the Scottish Ministers and the terms and conditions of appointment.

3. Members of JABS are appointed as office holders and are not employed, therefore they do not have employment contracts. They receive a letter of appointment which contains all the terms and conditions of appointment.

4. I can confirm in response to your question 4 that the judicial appointments recommended by JABS, and the recommendations appointed by Scottish Ministers, comply with ECHR.

5. As regards question 5, information on the procedures for appointments to the judiciary in Scotland is contained in Chapter 3 of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. Information on the procedures of appointment to JABS and other procedures relating to JABS can also be found in Schedule 3 of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. Both Acts can be viewed at http://www.legislation.gov.uk./

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Contact

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Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

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