Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister
The Welsh Government has undertaken a consultation exercise to seek views on whether to raise the mandatory retirement age (MRA) for members of Welsh tribunals. The options we presented were to raise the MRA to either 72 or 75. The retirement age for most members of Welsh tribunals is currently 70 and this has not been reviewed for 27 years.
A total of 7 substantive responses to the consultation were received and 6 of those were in favour of increasing the MRA, in one case specifying that it should be 75. Only one respondent disagreed with the proposals.
In all the circumstances surrounding judicial recruitment we think there is a case to be made, as indicated by the responses to the consultation, for raising the MRA age to 75 and we intend to raise it for members of Welsh tribunals as listed in section 59 of the Wales Act 2017 and for the President of Welsh Tribunals. The purpose of this policy is to ensure there continues to be sufficient judicial expertise to meet the demands on our tribunals. We will continue to work to improve judicial diversity and maintain public confidence in the integrity and independence of our tribunal system.
The Ministry of Justice has undertaken a similar consultation exercise and proposes to raise the MRA for judges and tribunal members in non-devolved areas to 75. Whilst Welsh tribunals are a devolved matter there are benefits in having a consistent retirement age for judges in England and Wales and this will allow for easier cross-deployment between our two countries. The responses to the MoJ consultation and summary are available at the link below.
The UK Government intends to effect the changes by bringing forward a Bill in the UK Parliament and we will take this opportunity to include provision for Wales.