HC Deb 26 March 1998 vol 309 c225W
Mrs. Fyfe

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what procedures he uses to ensure that appointments made in his Department observe principles of equal opportunity. [36439]

Mr. Hoon

Ministerial responsibility for judicial appointments rests with the Lord Chancellor. It is the Lord Chancellor's policy to appoint to judicial office those who appear to him to be the best qualified regardless of ethnic origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion or (subject to the physical requirements of the office) disability. Merit is established by an assessment of the candidate against the criteria for appointment. In respect of non-judicial public appointments, the Department has issued guidance on policy and practice and has distributed widely the Commissioner for Public Appointments' guidance. In respect of all other appointments, standard procedures set out in the Civil Service Management Code and the Civil Service Commissioners' Recruitment Code are used to ensure that appointments in the Lord Chancellor's Department observe principles of equal opportunity. Of the staff employed in the Lord Chancellor's Department 9.43% are of ethnic minority origin, 3.33% have declared a disability and 62.7% are women.

Mrs. Fyfe

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the salaried appointments he has made which have not been advertised. [36443]

Mr. Hoon

The salaried appointments made by the Lord Chancellor since 1 May 1997, which have not been advertised, are:

  • the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (on 10 October 1997);
  • a Senior Circuit Judge at Preston Combined Court (on 1 December 1997);
  • a Permanent Circuit Judge at the Central Criminal Court (on 1 January 1998); and
  • the Expert Adviser (on 5 March 1998).

The Lord Chancellor has also provided advice to the Crown on 14 senior judicial appointments since 1 May 1997.

This excludes casual appointments within the Lord Chancellor's Department, records of which are not centrally held, and appointments resulting from the internal redeployment of existing members of staff.

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