The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw, has announced that the new process for the appointment of justices to the new UK Supreme Court will be adopted with immediate effect. As a result, the new process will now be used for any appointments to the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, instead of waiting until the Supreme Court is operational in October 2009. This is because any judges appointed before that date will spend the majority of their career in the Supreme Court.
Under the new process, when a vacancy arises, a selection commission will be formed, comprising the President and Deputy President of the Supreme Court and members of the appointment bodies for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Once the Supreme Court opens, judges appointed to that court will no longer become members of the House of Lords. Judges of the new court will be known as Justices of the Supreme Court.