Following Lord Rodger’s death, and in advance of Lord Brown’s retirement next year, the Supreme Court  has recently announced an appointments process for two new Supreme Court Justices.

UKSCBlog readers will probably be pleased to learn that,  “Knowledge and experience of the law” and “clarity of thought and expression” are considered to be essential requirements for any applicant according to the information pack. Interestingly, as well as a covering letter and CV, applicants are asked to provide “three judgments only which they believe demonstrate their judicial qualities”.

This follows on from the relatively recent appointment of Lord Justice Wilson and Jonathan Sumption QC, who were confirmed as members of the Supreme Court in May. The Court has previously provided a brief outline of the statutory framework for the appointment of Justices.

Over at The Guardian, Joshua Rozenberg speculates on the potential candidates, arguing that “the Supreme Court desperately needs a chancery judge to replace Lord Walker, who will also be retiring in less than two years.” He casts doubt on whether this process will result in greater judicial diversity, claiming that “no minorities are represented among the front runners” (And we note that the line in the Court’s press release explaining that “The selection commission is anxious to attract applications from the widest field.”)

On the subject of judicial diversity, only last month Adam Wagner, whilst asking “who should appoint our top judges”, suggested that Wilson and Sumption “may be the last [Supreme Court Justices] to be appointed under the current system” because of the Lords Constitution Select Committee Inquiry into the Judicial Appointment Process. He noted that “The inquiry aims, amongst other things, to investigate how to achieve ‘greater diversity of those selected’ and ensure ‘appropriate accountability and transparency’.”

We’ve previously commented on the occasionally difficult relationship between judges and politicians, so-called “judge-made law” and whether the judiciary need reflect wider-society (cf Who guards the Guardians, The politics of the judiciary). Recently Alex Muscovici, a  student from City and Islington Sixth Form College, has invited us to discuss whether the Supreme Court would be improved by having more members under 40 – it doesn’t look like these questions are going to go away just yet.