Mannin: Will Judiciary Selection Changes Advance Transparency?



The Isle of Man Chief Minister has responded to a query from the Celtic League  about the procedure for the appointment of members of the judiciary. The League had written to the CM last month ahead of recently announced changes unveiled in the past few days.

The Celtic League had asked about transparency in the appointment process, particularly in the light of comment some years ago by the UK Department of Constitutional Affairs.

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Whilst the changes detailed by the Chief Minister and the more direct involvement of both his Office and the President of Tynwald are a welcome constitutional development it remains to be seen how this advances transparency. The full text of the Chief Ministers reply is set out below:
“Thank you for your letter dated 28 August 2010 concerning the judicial appointments process.

The appointment of members of the judiciary has very recently undergone a constitutional change. These positions will now be advertised and a shortlist of candidates, assessed against the job and person specification, will be drawn up for interview. The panel, now consisting of the First Deemster, the Chief Minister and the President of Tynwald will make recommendations to the Secretary of State for appointment by Her Majesty the Queen. This process has evolved, and continues to evolve, to take into account best practice in recruitment procedures. I have enclosed a copy of a press release and a letter to Members of Tynwald issued on Friday for your information.

The posts of both the First Deemster and Clerk of the Rolls and HM Attorney General will soon be advertised, interested applicants will be able to request an information pack which provides full details as to the selection procedure. Advertisements for these positions will appear in the local press, on the Chief Secretary’s Office website and the Isle of Man Law Society will be informed of the vacancies to draw to the attention of their members.

As you can see the recruitment of judicial officers is an open and transparent process and is reviewed each time a vacancy occurs to ensure the process conforms with current best practice.

Yours sincerely

Hon. A Brown MHK

Chief Minister


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.

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