The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland was established on an administrative basis by the Scottish Ministers in 2002.

Its remit was to provide to the First Minister recommendations for appointment to judicial office based on merit, to consider ways of recruiting a judiciary representative of the communities served and to undertake the recruitment processes in an efficient and effective manner.

The aim was to create a more open and accessible system for judicial appointments in Scotland that could be readily understood and so command the respect of the legal profession and the general public. The intention was to place the Board on a statutory basis after a period of operation.

In February 2006, after 172 judicial appointments had been made based on recommendations by the Board. Substantial operational experience had been gained, including detailed reconsideration of the original remit. The Scottish Ministers issued Strengthening Judicial Independence in a Modern Scotland, a consultation paper containing proposals which included the promulgation of legislation to establish the Board on a statutory basis. Following this consultation the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008 was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in January 2008 and included provisions to establish the Board on a statutory basis. The Act received Royal Assent in October 2008.

The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland was established as a statutory advisory Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) on 1st June 2009.

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