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Before 2005 there were three main problems with the appointment procedures which is the way in which judges are appointed. This was amended in the Constitution Reform Act 2005. This was amended in the constitution Reform Act 2005.

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Introduction

Before 2005 there were three main problems with the appointment procedures which is the way in which judges are appointed. This was amended in the Constitution Reform Act 2005. This was amended in the constitution Reform Act 2005. The first problem of the old system was, it was dominated by politicians. The Lord Chancellor and the Prime Minister were the main people in the appointment procedure but they were politicians who could be swayed by political factors in the selection of judges. The second problem of the old appointment system was, it was too secretive. The process was handled by a small group of civil servants who, although they discussed plenty with judges and senior barristers, nevertheless had a great deal of power. It was considered unfair because it favoured people who had good contacts. This can be because of the judge's family or the schools they attended which was not the right way of making the decision, they should be focusing on the individual's strength as a future judge. The last problem with the appointment procedure was, it was discriminatory. ...read more.

Middle

Under the 2007 Act, eligibility is no longer based on the number of years candidates have had rights of audience before a court, but instead of their number of years post-qualification experience. The number of required years experience has been reduced from seven to five years and ten to seven years, depending on the seniority of the judicial office. Following the 2007 Act the Lord Chancellor has issued regulations stating that the qualification of a legal executive is sufficient for judicial appointment in the magistrate's courts and tribunals. Government lawyers are now allowed to become judges, these lawyers are employed in the Crown Prosecution Service, Serious Fraud Office and the Government Legal Service. They are able to sit as civil recorders which are part time judges and deputy district judges in the magistrates court, provided their own department is not involved in the case. This is a major development, as such lawyers have a wider range of backgrounds, with women and ethnic minorities well represented and the majority state educated. Their recruitment as junior judges will hopefully make the profession at this level more representative of society but it is not clear that there is any real justifications for not making the more senior judicial posts open to these lawyers. ...read more.

Conclusion

This Commission includes the President and Deputy President of the Supreme Court, as well as one member of each of the three judicial appointing bodies of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The temporary Commission will put forward two to five candidates to choose from. The Minister will then consult with the senior judges, the first Minister and deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland. The Minister will then decide on the candidate and tell the Prime Minister who will then recommend this candidate to the Queen. The Commission for Judicial Appointments has been abolished, a Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombusdsman now oversees the recruitment process and has the power to investigate individual complaints about judicial appointments. Judges are most of the time white, made and seem to be of the middle to upper class and mostly elderly leading to accusations that they are unrepresentative of, and distanced from, the majority or society. In 1985 80 percent of Lords of Appeal, Heads of Division, and Lord Justices of Appeal and High Court judges were educated at Oxford or Cambridge. Over 50 percent of the middle ranking circuit judges to Oxbridge but only 12 percent of the lower ranking distract judges. Eighty percent of judges appointed since 1997 were educated at a public school. ...read more.

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