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Detail of outcome
The consultation on the Judicial Mandatory Retirement Age ran from 16 July to 16 October 2020. The consultation sought views on proposals to raise the mandatory retirement age (MRA) for judges, magistrates and coroners from 70 to 72 or 75.
While the MRA remains an important requirement of judicial office to protect judicial independence, preserve public confidence in the judiciary, and promote diversity, it is time the MRA is amended to reflect increases in life expectancy, societal changes and the demands on our courts and tribunals.
The majority of the more than 1000 responses to the consultation were in favour of increasing the MRA, although there were different views on whether the new MRA should be 72 or 75. After careful consideration, we have decided to raise the MRA to 75 to enable our courts and tribunals to retain for longer the expertise of experienced judicial office holders and to attract a greater number of talented and diverse applicants. Increasing the MRA gives judges, magistrates and coroners greater flexibility in both when they apply and when to retire. Changing the MRA requires parliamentary approval, which we will seek as soon as parliamentary time allows.
This consultation invites views on proposals to raise the mandatory retirement age (MRA) for judicial office holders, including judges in courts in England and Wales, the Unified Tribunals and some other tribunals, magistrates in England and Wales and coroners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Current legislation sets the MRA for most judicial office holders at the age of 70. The Lord Chancellor has a constitutional duty to provide resources for the effective operation of courts and tribunals. This includes reviewing policies which may impact on the appointment and retention of sufficient judicial office holders to operate the justice system. We are therefore consulting on whether the mandatory retirement age should be raised and if so, to either the age of 72 or 75. We also seek views on related matters including permitting judges’ and magistrates’ appointments to be extended after the mandatory age if it is in the public interest.
The Consultation Document, Equality Statement, Impact Assessment and a Welsh translation of the Executive Summary are available on this page.
This consultation has been developed in coordination with ongoing work on judicial pensions. The Government is concurrently consulting on amendments to the Fee-Paid Judicial Pension Scheme, the Government response to the McCloud judgment, and a reformed pension scheme. Respondents may find it useful to consider these consultations when providing a response.