Committee on the Lord Chancellor's Department

Press Notice No.12 of Session 2002-03                                13 June 2003


Following yesterday's announcement that judges in England will in future be appointed by an independent panel, the House of Commons Select Committee which shadows the Lord Chancellor's Department will be in Edinburgh on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th June to examine the Scottish experience of setting up an independent Judicial Appointments Board.  They will meet the Lord President of the Court of Session and representatives of the legal profession as well as Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace, who was the Justice Minister responsible for bringing in the changes.

Committee Chairman Rt Hon Alan Beith MP said:

"There has been no detailed preparation by the Government for the fundamental constitutional changes they have announced, and the Committee wants to see how much can be learned from the Scottish experience.  I expect the Committee to play a significant part in discussions on how a new judicial appointments system can be established, and we shall be asking Lord Falconer to appear before us very soon."