• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the ways in which judges are selected, appointed and trained.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Describe the ways in which judges are selected, appointed and trained. The ways in which judges are selected and appointed are important and they vary as there are different types of judges with different abilities. The Lord Chancellor is particularly influential in this respect as he has the task of nominating and appointing all the lower ranks of the judiciary. The higher ranks are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister, but the Lord Chancellor still has some influence over these appointments. The Lord Chancellor is, in effect, the selector of the judges, though facilitated by the advice of the judiciary and the wider legal profession. Superior judges The appointment of judges to the House of Lords and Court of Appeal is by way of invitation. Here a candidate may be approached by the Lord Chancellor without having applied. In 1986 Lord Chancellor, Lord Hailsham published a document called 'Judicial Appointments' which gave some explanation of the selection process. It involves the Lord Chancellor's Department keeping files on all possible candidates and collecting confidential information and opinions about those candidates from judges. These files are secret so that the subjects do not know what is in them. The dominance of judges' positions relies mainly on word of mouth and the confidential opinion of existing judges. ...read more.

Middle

However, judges can be members of the House of Lords in its legislative function - law lords are life peers and can take part in debates on new laws. There is a convention that the Law Lords will not take part in overtly political debate, but over recent years there have been instances where they have entered into controversial areas of law making. An example of this would be where the Governments policies on sentencing caused Lord Taylor to be highly critical of the 1996 White Paper proposals to bring in minimum sentences. Further, the government cannot dismiss superior judges and in this way they can be said to be independent of the government. They can make decisions which may displease the government without the threat of dismissal. This allows the judges to make decisions for themselves and not be pressurised by anyone else to make a decision which would suit them. However, the appointment of judges is not independent from the executive as the Lord Chancellor, who is a member of the government, is involved in the appointment of judges and the Prime Minister is responsible for the nomination of most senior judges. Thus there is a clear utility in our judges being largely independent of the legislative and executive branches. Other reasons for why independence is important include the fact that any cases involving governmental power should be free of government influence so no bias or wrong-doing can occur. ...read more.

Conclusion

Judges are still predominantly old, white, conservative males drawn from the privileged class and these characteristics can colour their decision-making faculties. With regards to the independence of judges in relation to the other instruments of state, there is a principle of separation of powers which to a large extent is adhered to and preserves the independence of the judiciary. The role of the legislature, Parliament, is to create the laws, the executive puts forward most bills to Parliament and implements the law and the role of the judiciary is to interpret and enforce the law. If one was to see the branches of government this way then there is a separation of powers and the judiciary in effect independent from the government. However, the judiciary has another power that blurs the separation of powers slightly and might undermine their complete independence. As well as possessing the ability to interpret and enforce the laws of the land, judges are in control of the 'common law' which takes them into the law making territory of the legislature. Common law is judge made law that arises out of custom; a decision made by one court of law must be followed by others facing similar situations. Therefore, the question whether judges are truly independent is intrinsically linked to whether there is a strict separation of powers. In conclusion it can be said that for the most part the judiciary can be said to occupy an independent role but there is no strict separation of powers guaranteeing complete independence. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree English Legal System section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree English Legal System essays

  1. Do Judges Make New Law in Hard Cases?

    judicial discretion is used. 21 C. Straw Man. For proposition 1 he states, 'because judges are applying binding legal standards they are enforcing legal rights and obligations'.22 In other words they are not creating new law. Under proposition 2 Dworkin contends that when 'a case is not covered by a clear rule, a judge

  2. What role do judges play in the modern United Kingdomconstitution? To what extent will ...

    As the system stands this is not the case, the process is very much focused upon one or two politicians and it seems this will continue to be the case. With the Lord Chancellors role seen to be biased, as discussed above, the commission must therefore take over his powers.

  1. Critical Analysis of the role of Solicitors & Barristers

    Conclusion During my research into the two professions, it has been apparent that they have closer links than I originally anticipated. You can see the clear distinction, with solicitors effectively performing and providing the first level of legal services to clients, and barristers taking the service to the next level, through the higher courts.

  2. Explain how lay magistrates and district judges are selected and appointed.

    less magistrate on the bench and therefore limiting your chances of a fair trial. The major qualification to become a Lay Magistrate is not to have a qualification in law. Applicant must be between 21 and 65 but applicant under 27 is not considered.

  1. The judicial process: should judges ever make the law?

    matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband which she cannot retract.' Sir Matthew Hale11 This 17th century statement was regarded as accurate until the Second World War. Gradually, however, the courts started allowing exceptions to it, but it took until the

  2. Describe ways in which judges selected, appointed and trained.

    The Queen, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor appoints High court judges, circuit judges and recorders. New judges traditionally, received little training for their role, limited to a brief training period organized by the Judicial Studies Board. Lord Justice Waller, a CoA judge, is responsible for judges training as chairman of the judicial studies board (JSB).

  1. Produce a report that looks at the functions of each court, with emphasis on ...

    for self representation and is as a result less formal in procedure than other courts. The claims are heard by judge's known as district judges and sit alone in when hearing the claim. They are required by s71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 to have been either

  2. Dispute Solving - Solicitors, Barristers, and Legal executives

    On paper the magistrate's court makes a profit the income from fines should exceed its operating costs. Technically the magistrate's court is at least 3 courts, it is primarily a criminal court, it is also a youth court, and it acts in limited areas of the civil court.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work