§ Mr. Meadowcroft
asked the Attorney-General what criteria are applied by the Lord Chancellor when he decides not to renew recorderships.
§ The Attorney-General
Under section 21 of the Courts Act 1971 recordership is a part-time judicial office which is held for a specified term (usually about three years) and is renewable by the Lord Chancellor until the age of 72. Until then, the Lord Chancellor will normally renew the appointment provided that he is satisfied as to the recorder's continuing fitness for it, particularly with reference to his judicial performance and behaviour, and whether or not he has complied with the terms of his appointment. In making these decisions, the Lord Chancellor always acts after receiving advice in writing from officials and relevant presiding judges. This advice is based on consultations with the judiciary and the profession. The Lord Chancellor has in fact never decided not to renew a recordership except in accordance with such advice from officials and presiding judges. His overriding consideration, as with all judicial appointments, is always the maintenance of public confidence in the competence and independence of the judiciary, and in the integrity and impartiality of the administration of justice.