Caught between the recession and swingeing legal aid cuts, many lawyers are considering whether a public sector job – the bench –  might be more appealing. (And that is in spite of the recent government pay freeze on judicial salaries.)

The Judicial Appointments Commission has noted that this year there was a 40% increase in judicial applications, despite a decrease in the number of available posts.

Which may mean that this unassuming advertisement in Thursday’s Times (right) and also on the Supreme Court website, would have caught the eye of a few keen readers interested in a change of job.

The closing date is 26 October and the qualifications are either 2 years in high judicial office or to have satisfied the judicial appointment eligibility condition on a 15 year basis or to have been a qualifying practitioner for at least 15 years.  It seems likely that there a many thousands of people who satisfy one of these criteria although doubtless the number of applications will be relatively small.   Although the figures have not been published, when 3 vacancies were advertised a year ago, Joshua Rozenberg reported that only 30 applications were received.  According to Marcel Berlins there were five applicants without relevant judicial experience and “a dozen or so” Court of Appeal judges.  It identity of the remaining applicants remains a mystery!

The earlier application process resulted in the appointments of Lords Kerr, Collins and Clarke.  Despite extensive speculation in the legal press Jonathan Sumption QC was not appointed.  Once again, Mr Sumption appears to be the odds on favourite of the pundits.  As we said in our earlier blog on the point, there is a selection process to be completed.

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