News releases

02/2016 - News release

Statement on Supreme Court appointments process

11 July 2016

Lord Toulson reaches his statutory retirement age this September and a further five vacancies for Supreme Court Justices are due to arise before the end of 2018.

In order to encourage the broadest and most diverse range of applications and achieve the most efficient process for candidates and the independent Selection Commission, we propose that recruitment for these vacancies will be grouped together in joint selection exercises to take place over the next two years.

The grouping and chronology of these independent selection exercises will be decided in consultation between the Lord Chancellor and the Supreme Court, and announced in due course. However, the vacancy created by Lord Toulson's retirement from sitting full time will not be filled immediately.

Lord Toulson has indicated he will be willing to join the Supplementary Panel and it is envisaged that he will be invited to sit on an ad hoc basis from October. Lord Dyson will also be joining the Supplementary Panel, on his forthcoming retirement as Master of the Rolls.

Once convened, the Selection Commission will determine detailed arrangements for the selection processes, while also bearing in mind relevant recommendations made by the Court's former Chief Executive Jenny Rowe in her report of July 2015 (

Notes to editors

Relevant statutory retirement dates are:

  • Lord Toulson  -   22 September 2016
  • Lord Neuberger  -   10 January 2018
  • Lord Clarke  -  13 May 2018
  • Lord Mance  -  6 June 2018
  • Lord Hughes  -  11 August 2018
  • Lord Sumption  -  9 December 2018

More details on the statutory basis for appointments to the Supreme Court can be found at:

Those appointed to the Supplementary Panel have to be appointed while still in office or within two years of ceasing to hold office. A Supplementary Panel member ceases to be on the panel after five years of ceasing to hold a qualifying office or (if earlier) when 75. Lord Gill and Lord Hamilton (both former Lord Presidents) are currently members of the Panel.

UKSC contacts:

Ben Wilson - Head of Communications
020 7960 1887

Cheryl Walmsley - Communications & Outreach Manager
020 7960 1886