Press release

Two appointments for the Judicial Appointments Commission

Judge Phillip Sycamore and Judge Usha Karu appointed as Commissioners of the Judicial Appointments Commission.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Lord Chancellor today announced the appointment by Her Majesty the Queen of His Honour Judge Phillip Sycamore as a senior judicial Commissioner, and Her Honour Judge Usha Karu as the Circuit Judge Member of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).

The appointments of His and Her Honour are for a 3 year period commencing 9 June 2014 with the possibility, subject to the provisions of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, of renewal for a total period not exceeding 10 years.

As serving salaried judges these posts are unpaid.

The JAC is an independent commission that selects candidates for judicial office in courts and tribunals in England and Wales, and for some tribunals whose jurisdiction extends to Scotland or Northern Ireland. The JAC selects candidates for judicial office on merit, through fair and open competition, from the widest range of eligible candidates.

The JAC comprises a Chairman and 14 Commissioners. The JAC has a senior management team comprising the chief executive and a director and is supported by 67 staff.


His Honour Judge Phillip Sycamore

Judge Sycamore was appointed as a Circuit Judge in 2001 and is currently the Chamber President of the First Tier Tribunal (Health Education and Social Care Chamber), a Judge of the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) and a Deputy High Court Judge. He was previously the Liaison Judge for the Mental Health Review Tribunal, the President of the Law Society of England and Wales from 1997 to 1998 and a Recorder from 1999 to 2001.

This appointment was made on the recommendation of the Tribunal Judges Council, unlike the other JAC Commissioners who are nominated by judges’ councils.

Her Honour Judge Usha Karu

Judge Karu was appointed as a Circuit Judge in 2005 and currently sits at the Inner London Crown Court. Prior to her appointment to the full time judiciary she was a Barrister by profession and is one of the two Diversity and Community Relations Judges for Inner London Crown Court. She is also the coordinating Judge for Judicial Mentors for Recorders for the London area as well as the New Recorders Training Judge at the Inner London Crown Court, and a judicial member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal (Restricted Patients Panel).

This appointment was made through open competition. In accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any is declared) to be made public. Her Honour Judge Karu has declared that she has not been involved in any political activity.

Published 16 June 2014