Appointment process

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) is an independent judicial body. Appointments to the IPT are essentially judicial in nature.  These appointments vary depending on whether the proposed candidate is a serving member of the senior judiciary of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, referred to as a "judicial member", or if they are a "non-judicial member". A non-judicial member could be a former member of the judiciary who is no longer serving or a senior member of the legal profession who is not a full-time judge.
The IPT values the diversity of experience and expertise having both judicial and non judicial members brings to the Tribunal.

Where judicial members are selected from the judiciary in England and Wales, the Judicial Office, on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice, manages the selection process. The Lord Chief Justice may consult with his equivalents in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Judicial Office invites expressions of interest from serving High Court Judges in England and Wales.  Applicants are interviewed by a panel, which consists of the President of the IPT, a non-judicial member of the IPT and a lay Commissioner from the Judicial Appointments Commission. 

The panel then reports to the Lord Chief Justice who writes to the Home Secretary making formal recommendations for appointments. The Home Secretary then writes to the Prime Minister asking him to seek permission for Letters Patent from Her Majesty the Queen for the recommended appointment(s).  The Prime Minister recommends the chosen candidate(s) to Her Majesty the Queen who formalises the appointment through Letters Patent.

Appointment to the IPT is treated as a judicial deployment.

Non judicial-members are recruited through fair and open competition.  The IPT places advertisements for non-judicial members in a selection of national newspapers and recruitment sites asking for expressions of interest from suitably qualified individuals. The process differs from that of judicial members in that it does not involve the Lord Chief Justice, but is the same in all other respects.


Last updated: 5 Jul 16