22 June 2020
Law Society Urges Solicitors To Apply For High Court Positions
The Law Society of Northern Ireland has written to its members
encouraging them to consider making an application for a number of High Court
Judge vacancies which have been advertised by The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission.
The Society’s communication to its members reflects a new confidence
within the profession following the successful appointment of Mr Justice Huddleston
in January 2019.
In a communication to members the President of the Law
Society, Rowan White said:
“As a profession,
we have in the past been guilty of assuming that only very experienced
advocates will be considered for appointment to vacancies on the High Court
bench. As a result, many able colleagues have not applied for
appointments to which they may have been very well suited. However, it is clear
from the criteria that court advocacy is not an essential requirement for these
the appointment of our colleague and former President, Mr. Justice Huddleston, in January 2019 clearly demonstrates that this assumption is
incorrect and must now be finally cast aside. His appointment highlights
the relevance to his judicial office of the many skills and experience which he
acquired as a transactional solicitor practising in property, commercial and
private client matters. His practice had not included advocacy and it is
essential to appreciate that the skills which NIJAC lists for the current
vacancies are not focused on advocacy.
very clear to the Society that NIJAC is keen to attract applications from a
broad range of skilled lawyers, regardless of their professional
background. There are undoubtedly a number of eminently suitable
candidates currently practising in the solicitors’ profession. If you feel that
you may be one of them, I urge you to take this opportunity to apply”.