The Judicial Appointments Commission is responsible for selecting judges in England and Wales. It is a non-departmental public body which was created on 3 April 2006 as part of the reforms following the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. It took over a responsibility previously that of the Lord Chancellor and the Department for Constitutional Affairs (previously the Lord Chancellor's Department), although the Lord Chancellor retains responsibility for appointing the selected candidates. The Lord Chancellor has also given up his other judicial functions, including the right to sit as a judge in the House of Lords.
The Commission launched its new system to select High Court judges on 31 October 2006, looking for candidates to fill 10 vacancies and 15 for a reserve list. Candidates submitted a nine-page application form, and shortlisted candidates were interviewed. All candidates were to be judged on merit alone, measured by five core qualities: intellectual capacity; personal qualities (integrity, independence, judgment, decisiveness, objectivity, ability; willingness to learn); ability to understand and deal fairly; authority and communication skills; and efficiency.
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