HL Deb 11 November 1999 vol 606 cc249-50WA
The Countess of Mar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether recent vacancies for lay members of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal were advertised in accordance with the Nolan Rules; if so, in which journals they were advertised and on what dates; and what are the criteria for the posts and how many vacancies exist. [HL4625]

The Lord Chancellor

Although judicial appointments are not subject to the Nolan Rules, my usual policy is that part-time tribunal appointments are advertised in the appropriate journal and applicants appointed following an application and interview. Job descriptions and statements of eligibility and criteria are available for applicants for each office. Anticipated legislative changes to the lay membership of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal has meant that recruitment of lay members has not been undertaken for some time, although a register was kept by my Judicial Group of those who would wish to be considered for appointment should further vacancies arise. Following retention in the Immigration and Asylum Bill of a lay element to the Immigration Appeal Tribunal, 27 such vacancies have now been identified. In order to ensure that appointments to these vacancies are made at the earliest opportunity, I exceptionally agreed that an abbreviated recruitment campaign should be undertaken by my Judicial Group. To this end those that had previously registered an interest in appointment as a lay member of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal were sent a job description and statement of eligibility and criteria for appointment and were invited to complete and return an application form. A copy of the job description and eligibility and criteria for these posts will be sent to the noble Countess by my officials. Forty four completed applications were returned to my Judicial Group. All those who are eligible will be interviewed by a panel consisting of a senior member of my Judicial Group, a senior judicial member of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal and a lay member from my panel of lay interviewers. Successful candidates will be appointed for an initial period of one year, subject to the satisfactory completion of their initial training period. Thereafter, subject to the recommendation of the President of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal, and the availability of the work, appointments will be renewed for periods of up to three years until the statutory retirement age has been reached.

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