Professional Conduct Checks

  1. The list of candidates will go, confidentially, to the senior member of staff with responsibility for professional conduct at each of the professional bodies.
  2. This will be to ensure any findings, or pending complaints, of misconduct are identified.
  3. Where a finding or complaint had not been identified or addressed by the candidate in the application form, the candidate will be given an opportunity to address in writing (a) any question of non-disclosure by the candidate of the finding or complaint and (b) the materiality of the finding or complaint to the candidate’s application.
  4. Guidance has been prepared by the Selection Panel about the extent to which previous criminal convictions or findings of professional misconduct should be taken into account in assessing a candidate’s suitability.
  5. The list of candidates will go to the following judges: the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, the Senior Presiding Judge for England & Wales, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, the Chancellor of the High Court and the President of the Family Division.
  6. Where the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, the Senior Presiding Judge, the Chancellor of the High Court or one of the Presidents has reason to believe that an issue concerning integrity as it related to the competency framework was known to another judge, they will be entitled to invite the Selection Panel to seek comments from the judge concerned.
  7. Where comments are sought from the judge concerned, the comments will be directed at the integrity element of the competency framework.  Concerns will have to be fully particularised.
  8. Concerns about integrity identified in this way will be put to the candidate concerned, so that the candidate has an opportunity to provide an explanation to the Selection Panel on the matter.
  9. It will be for the Selection Panel to decide what weight to give to the comments made by the judge, taking into account the candidate’s explanation and the rest of the information available to the Selection Panel.

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