Jayne Hughes retires from High Bailiff position after three years

By Paul Hardman   |   Reporter   |
Thursday 22nd September 2022 11:07 am
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The Ceremony of the Administration of Oaths for the Appointment of Jayne Hughes as Deputy High Bailiff Douglas Courthouse ()

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The government is currently advertising for a new High Bailiff, who acts as a judge in lower courts.

A vacancy will be created as current High Bailiff Jayne Hughes is set to retire, having been appointed to the post in 2019.

Prior to this, she was made Deputy High Bailiff in 2011, which made her the first ever woman to hold a full-time position in the Manx Judiciary.

The island’s High Bailiff acts as the senior Coroner of Inquests, presiding over death inquests.

They also are required to serve as chair of tribunals, and hear statutory appeals.

The office of High Bailiff dates back to 1777, when there were four High Bailiffs, with this later being reduced to two and then one in 1933.

The criteria to be eligible for the job includes: being a qualified advocate, barrister or solicitor of at least 10 years standing, and ‘relevant judicial experience either in the Isle of Man or elsewhere within the British Isles for a minimum of three years prior to taking up office’.

The closing date for applications is October 12, with interviews to be conducted in November.

Mrs Hughes was preceded as Deputy High Bailiff by Alastair Montgomerie, and as High Bailiff by John Needham.

Both Mr Montgomerie and Mr Needham went on to become Deemsters.

Prior to becoming High Bailiff, Mrs Hughes had worked in the Attorney General’s Chambers since 2008, and before that served for 12 years with the UK Crown Prosecution Service.

Speaking after being appointed as High Bailiff, Mrs Hughes said that she was ‘very conscious of following in the footsteps of giants’ and would hope to ‘strive to be as successful in the office and not be remembered only as the first woman appointed but also as a good, effective, efficient, fair and innovative High Bailiff’.

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