• 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?

    Secondly a judge must take account of existing principles that argue against the departure from the existing doctrine. These principles include the doctrine of legislative supremacy and the doctrine of precedent. These doctrine incline towards the 'status quo...but they do not command it.'

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

    This is a much more sensible and more clearly defined answer to the problem of the Lord Chancellor. There is however an example of the executive and judiciary merging in these new proposals that The Secretary of State for the department for constitutional affairs (formerly the Lord Chancellor), will be

  1. 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).

  2. Where judges do not follow precedent (or where they distinguish binding cases on dubious ...

    Once the House had given a ruling on a point of law or statutory interpretation, the matter was closed unless and until Parliament made a change by statute. This changed in 1966, however, following a Practice Statement issued by Lord Gardiner LC.

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

    Bail - Bail Act 1976 "Is a presumption you have the right for bail" Magistrates deal with bail that has been refused by the police or want to vary the conditions set by the police. The magistrates are regarded as more lenient than the police at granting bail.

  2. The Judiciary has been described as "overwhelmingly white, male, and from a narrow social ...

    Some of the advantages with the system used to appoint inferior judges are: the position for an inferior judge is publicised, making everyone aware of the position and not just a select few people. The potential candidate must give three reference, this is an advantage as this gives the interviewing

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

    in the policy- the policy-maker 'ought to listen to a substantial argument reasonably presented urging a change of policy6' and may even have to change that policy if that is the reasonable thing to do. Presumably if it could be established that a public authority had found its policy to

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

    Then you are short-listed and interviewed after references have been taken up. Finally appointment is at the Lord Chancellor's discretion. This appointment procedure is also the same for Recorders and Circuit judges. The appointment procedure for a High court judge begins with sending an application in response to an advertisement or by invitation from the Lord Chancellor's Department.

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