Judicial Appointments

How are judges appointed?

Full-time salaried judges are appointed by the Queen on the First Minister’s recommendation.

The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland (JABS) handles these applications. The Board makes recommendation for appointment and may assemble a pool of suitable applicants.  Judges can then be appointed from this pool as vacancies arise.

When a new judge is required, following a request from the Scottish Ministers, JABS makes recommendation to the First Minister. The First Minister is required to consult the Lord President on any recommendation for judicial appointment before making his/her recommendation to the Queen.

It is customary for shrieval vacancies first to be offered to existing sheriffs, with applicants considered by the relevant sheriff principal.

In the case of part-time sheriffs, appointments are made by the Scottish Ministers on the recommendation of JABS.

Stipendiary magistrates are also appointed by Scottish Ministers, on the recommendation of a Stipendiary Magistrates Advisory Committee (SMAC) formed by the relevant sheriff principal in order to consider the appointment.

Information on the appointment of Justices of the Peace can be found here