Overseas Benchers

Eligibility for Nomination

An overseas member of the Inn (this includes Scotland and Northern Ireland) who has achieved, whether internationally or within the jurisdiction of the state concerned (other than in England and Wales), judicial, academic, professional, political, or diplomatic distinction.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations for Overseas Benchers may be made by any Governing Bencher in writing having particular regard to the Criteria for the Election of Benchers (BTO Appendix 5). We recommend that a CV is also provided by the deadline for nominations for the Bencher Nomination Committee’s reference. Candidates should not be consulted on a nomination until the matter has been considered by Bench Table.

Nominations from Governing Benchers should be submitted by email, addressed for the attention of Master Reader, Chair of the Bencher Nomination Committee, and sent care of the Sub-Treasurer’s Office or to Jennie Collis Price, Executive Assistant to the Sub-Treasurer, at jcollisprice@innertemple.org.uk by 5pm on Friday 8 May 2020. Nominations received after the deadline or incomplete nominations may not be considered.

Review of Candidates

Each nomination will be considered by the Bencher Nomination Committee. When selecting candidates to be put forward for election as Overseas Benchers, the Bencher Nomination Committee shall have regard to the Criteria for the Election of Benchers (BTO Appendix 5) and the views of the International Committee.

Candidates considered to have met the criteria will be recommended for election to the Executive Committee. If the Executive Committee approves the recommendation, the name of the candidate shall be submitted to Bench Table for consideration as an Overseas Bencher and a vote shall be held by a show of hands. The candidate shall be approved for election to the Bench if no fewer than twenty Governing Benchers vote for the candidate, and they form a majority of the Governing Benchers present. Following such approval of a candidate by Bench Table, the Treasurer shall write to the candidate requesting their consent to election as an Overseas Bencher. If consent is given, that candidate will be elected as Overseas Bencher at the following Bench Table.

Successful candidates will be invited to complete an optional and anonymous online Equality & Diversity Monitoring Form on election to enable the Bencher Nomination Committee and Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity Sub-Committee to monitor diversity data.

There is no limit to the number of Overseas Benchers that can be elected.

Selection Criteria

The Inn seeks to develop bilateral relationships with overseas legal jurisdictions and pursue the objectives of the Inn in an international context. This includes the promotion of the standing and interests of the Inn and its members internationally; the promotion of the services and professional activities of the Inn and its members internationally; and the increase of the Inn’s international reach and profile and that of its members in overseas jurisdictions.

When selecting candidates to be put forward for election as Overseas Benchers, the Bencher Nomination Committee shall have regard to the following:

(a) Any specific need(s) that the Inn may have at that time for Benchers who possess the skills and interests necessary to perform one or more of its functions;

(b) The extent to which the candidate appears to possess skills and interests required by the Inn either generally or in relation to any specific need(s) identified under (a) above;

(c) The extent to which the candidate has demonstrated a strong likelihood that, as an Overseas Bencher, they will make an active and positive contribution to the affairs of the Inn;

(d) The extent to which the candidate has taken, or is taking, any part in the affairs of the Inn or, more generally, in the affairs of the legal profession internationally or in their home jurisdiction;

(e) The views of the International Committee.

As to (c), a strong likelihood that a candidate will make a positive contribution to the affairs of the Inn is best evidenced by previous participation in the affairs of the Inn or of the legal profession. However, it is recognised that, on occasion, circumstances may have prevented the candidate from such previous participation. In such cases, the Committee will take the candidate’s particular circumstances fully into account and will look for evidence of a serious intention on the part of the candidate, if elected, to play an active part in the Inn’s affairs.