The judiciary is creating a new post to ensure that the process of appointing members of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal is carried out fairly and transparently, a new document reveals. According to a protocol for the appointment of members of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, published by HM judiciary, the master of the rolls will appoint an appointment panel chair, responsib!e for monitoring compliance. 

A spokesperson for the judiciary said that the panel chair, who must be neither a member nor an employee of the tribunal, has yet to be appointed.

Under section 46 of the Solicitors Act 1974, appointments to the tribunal are the responsibility of the master of the rolls. The tribunal currently has  25 solicitor members and 12 lay members ’drawn from a wide range of backgrounds to reflect the make up of the profession and, as far as possible, the public’, the protocol states.  

Among other matters, the protocol covers eligibility criteria, the appointment process and the advertising of vacancies. It includes an ‘equal merit’ provision under which when two or more applicants are of equal merit, a selection panel may prefer one of them over the other or others for the purpose of increasing diversity.

The protocol itself, though dated 2020, is a new document, the spokesperson said.