HC Deb 30 April 2001 vol 367 cc510-1W
Tony Wright

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department for what reason the advertisements for part-time lay members of the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal restricted applications to persons aged between 35 and 62 years. [158739]

Mr. Lock

A normal lower age limit of 35 for applicants to part-time judicial posts is principally set to ensure that those appointed have the length of experience and maturity necessary to fulfil their judicial functions in a way that will both ensure public confidence, and that they can meet the demanding burdens of judicial office. A normal upper age limit of 62 is principally set to take account of the retirement age for judicial offices, which for part-time judicial office holders is 65. In setting the upper age limit at 62 the Lord Chancellor has taken into account the expectation that office holders should be able to complete a reasonable period of service before reaching the compulsory retirement age.

In exceptional circumstances these age limits may be relaxed at the Lord Chancellor's discretion. The Lord Chancellor's discretion may be invoked, for example, where an otherwise well-qualified candidate has had a career break or started his or her career later than usual.