Regular annual competitions to fill vacancies on the shrieval bench are to be introduced by the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland (JABS).

From this spring, JABS will be recruiting to the offices of sheriff and summary sheriff on an annual basis at the same time each year. JABS hopes that this will allow candidates to plan out their career better and prepare themselves for judicial office.

The move follows work by JABS over the past year to make its appointments process as straightforward as possible. Earlier this month it unveiled "What Makes a Good Judge?", to provide greater clarity over the skills and qualities it looks for in selecting candidates for each level of the judiciary (click here to view).

JABS said it had been "working closely with key partners in the justice family to develop and implement a clearer description of the skills and qualities required by individuals who wish to hold judicial office". 

It thanked "all parties who helped us to bring this together to make the whole process more fluid and collegiate".