Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 16:29 UK

UK's Euro judge 'can be foreign'

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
Britain's new judge will be attending the court in Strasbourg

An advertisement for Britain's judge on the European Court of Human Rights has stated that the post does not need to be held by a British national.

The advert for the £175,000 a-year position says the role is "not restricted to British nationals..."

It has been published jointly by the Ministry of Justice and Foreign Office.

It also says candidates must "demonstrate a close current connection with the United Kingdom and familiarity with one or more of its legal systems".

The new appointee will take office on 1 November next year for six years.

The advert also asks for "necessary qualifications and expertise".

Earlier judgements

The Strasbourg-based court has one judge for each member of the Council of Europe.

It rules on whether countries' domestic laws comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Previous rulings have forced UK ministers to change rules on the DNA database, announce plans for prisoners to be given the vote, and give compensation to detained terror preacher Abu Qatada.

A spokesman for the Judicial Communications Office said there were no figures available on the number of foreign nationals who were judges in the UK.

However, he did point out that there is currently one High Court judge who is Australian, and the recently retired Law Lords Lord Hoffmann and Lord Steyn are both South African.

Sir Nicolas Bratza QC is the UK's current judge, one of the court's vice-presidents, and is eligible to apply for a further term.

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