You should delete or redact any references to the identity of clients or others in such documents. Any written work which has not been redacted and has been submitted will be disregarded and deleted and you will be asked to provide another example.

The Board makes its recommendations for appointment in response to specific requests from the Scottish Ministers. Following the Board Decision Meeting a recommendation report is sent to Scottish Ministers.

The format of the feedback will be dictated by the scale of the exercise. For large appointment rounds, at sift stage, feedback will be provided by way of a generic letter, which will cover common issues the sift panel found when sifting applications.

For small appointment rounds it may be possible to provide tailored feedback at sift stage. Following interviews all applicants, including those who are successful, will be offered tailored feedback, either by letter or by telephone call, again dependent on the scale of the exercise.

Appointment rounds are held as and when the Board is requested to do so by the Scottish Ministers.

The eligibility criteria for judicial offices vary. For further information please see the Am I Eligible? section of our website.

Not necessarily, but the Board will take this into consideration when considering your suitability for appointment. All convictions, including Fixed Penalty Notices, must be disclosed. Applicants for judicial appointment are not protected by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore spent convictions must be declared in writing.  Please see the Board’s policy on Convictions on our website for further information.

For legal Tribunal posts, and all court posts, the Board is looking for applicants who demonstrate that they have high standards of legal skills and competence. In addition to these, the Board will assess applicants across a range of personal and judicial qualities. Please see the What We're Looking For section of our website for more information.

No. Previous judicial or tribunal experience, either part-time or full-time, is not a requirement for appointment to judicial office. The Board may however take such experience into account.

There is no minimum age, it is about experience and practice but for most judicial roles, applicants must have a minimum number of years post qualification experience – full details will be set out in the guidance note for individual roles. There is however a mandatory retirement age of 75 for judicial office holders as defined in Section 26 of the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993.

A preliminary assessment of each application is carried out by the Business Management Unit in relation to eligibility and whether candidates meet the age requirement. Should a concern arise at this stage in the process, the BMU send anonymised information to the Panel to make a decision on the matter.

No. The Board does not refer to previous applications when assessing applicants and treats each application as a fresh application. Additionally, the Board and selection panel membership changes so members could be unaware of previous applications.

Examples of written work include:

  • advice given to clients in the form of letters or memos, opinions or notes;
  • written submissions or other written legal argument;
  • reports, opinions, judgments, stated cases or decision letters given in a judicial (courts and tribunals) or similar capacity;
  • written advice given internally in a firm or other institutional environment;
  • or any other written explanation of the law, and how that applies in the circumstances of a particular case or other factual situation.

The example you choose should have a broad range, ideally be recent, and clearly demonstrate the legal competence criteria. Choose your written work carefully, making sure that it is concise and to the point. Applicants who submit written work that contains a lengthy narration of the facts, are asked to confirm (within the 100 word limit) which paragraphs contain the analysis and application of the law that they wish the Board to consider. You should delete or redact any references to the identity of clients or others in such documents. The Board will treat these in confidence.

Example(s) of written work are requested, along with a competency based online application form, and a sift takes place based on this documentation.

Court Interviews 

Interviews are normally held in Edinburgh. The interview panel comprises up to two lay Board members and two judicial or legal members.

The first stage is a case study – Applicants are given time to consider legal material, most of which is usually provided in advance. They then have a discussion about this material with the judicial and legal members of the interview panel. The lay members of the panel are present but do not take part in this discussion. Examples of previous case studies are available on our website.
The second stage is a competency (and scenario) based interview, focusing on the personal and judicial qualities required for judicial office sought.

Tribunal Interviews 

To date, interviews have been held in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The interview panel usually comprises one legal Member of the Tribunal being recruited to, one lay Member of the Tribunal being recruited to and is chaired by one of the Board's Lay Assistants. Tribunal recruitment is overseen by a selection panel of Board Members.

To date, interviews for Tribunal roles have included a short presentation at the outset. The interviewees were sent a topical question to consider and prepared their presentation and answer to the question in advance of the interview. This was then followed by a competency (and scenario) based interview, focusing on the personal and judicial qualities required for judicial office sought.


No. The Board gathers information on applicants throughout the process (application form and written work). The interview, and the report of the interview panel, is one part of it. The final decision about an applicant’s suitability to be recommended for appointment is made by the full Board taking into account all the collected information.

You must remember that this is an “offer” of recommendation. When the Board has made a recommendation of an individual for appointment to the First Minister, the Scottish Government undertakes a number of further steps before the First Minister makes the final decision to recommend an individual for appointment. These steps include the statutory consultation with the Lord President and arranging a Royal Warrant.

The Board trusts that you will respect the principle of strict confidentiality and restrict knowledge of your recommendation to your immediate family, and, in so far as necessary, professional associates.

The timescales vary but in general terms can take between four to six weeks to complete. Successful applicants will be informed by the Scottish Government’s Justice Directorate officials, in strictest confidence, that their name is going forward to the Palace, and an announcement will be made only after His Majesty has signed the Royal Warrant of Appointment.

Again, timescales vary but in general terms can take up to 16 weeks to complete. This is all dependent on the office you are applying for and the number of applications submitted.

No. The Board does not take previous applications in to account so welcomes application forms from all individuals who are eligible and interested in applying.

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