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CLRI

Sayed-Ul-Haque (Dinar)
The Legal and system and method (LSM) module will be
assessed entirely by written examination in May 2017. The
examination is divided into three parts: A, B and C. All parts
are compulsory.
Part A (25% of the overall marks) relates primarily to the
case note but also contains an extract from another
unseen case;
Part B (50% of the overall marks) consists of essay
questions from which candidates much choose two; and
Part C (25% of the overall marks) is a multi-part question
about the statute.
PART= A
Broadview Energy Developments Ltd v The
Secretary of State for Communities and Local
Government & Ors [2016] EWCA Civ 562

The case note submission deadline is


Wednesday 8 March 2017.
Failure to submit the case note by the due
date will result in failure of Part A of the
examination.
PART= B
1. Judicial precedent
2. Jury
3. Judiciary
4. Civil justice process
5. ADR
6. Legal Aid
7. Statutory interpretation
8. Miscarriages of justice
Part C
Part C will test understanding of the Dealing in
Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003. You
should be familiar with the entire Act as
originally enacted. A copy of the Act is
provided on the VLE and a clean copy will be
provided in the examination.
Judiciary
Sayed-Ul-Haque (Dinar)
Angle 1
1. In what ways does the English judiciary lack
diversity? What are the arguments for having
a diverse judiciary? How has the Judicial
Appointments Commission sought to increase
diversity within the judiciary?
2. What is the democratic deficit in the
legitimacy of the judiciary and how would a
more diverse judiciary overcome this?
Angle 2
1. Why is the independence of the judiciary
regarded as important to the rule of law and
what measures are in place to protect that
independence?
Introduction
The role and function of the judiciary in
England and Wales has changed considerably
in recent years. It has become larger, more
professional and better trained, while its
increasing role in interpreting and applying
human rights law and scrutinising official
decision-making has drawn it into more
politically sensitive areas.
One impact of these changes is that the
judicial appointments process has attracted
more public attention. In particular, the
continuing lack of diversity in the composition
of the judiciary, the risks of politicisation and
the lack of accountability in the selection
process have become more pressing issues in
the light of the expanding role of the judges.
In 2004 these concerns led to the
introduction of fundamental changes to the
judicial appointments process.
The England and Wales justice system, like most other common law
jurisdictions, selects candidates for judicial office from among experienced
legal practitioners who have demonstrated excellent legal skill and high
standards of integrity in practice. By contrast, in civil law jurisdictions most
judges are recruited from among recent law graduates and selection is
based on performance in examinations, rather than practice. The pattern
of judicial careers is therefore rather different between common law and
civil law jurisdictions. Because of the requirement for distinction in
practice in common law jurisdictions, appointments to judicial office rarely
occur before the age of 40 for positions in the inferior courts and rarely
before the age of 50 for the High Court Bench and above. On the other
hand, in civil law jurisdictions it is common to find junior judges in their
20s and 30s
Elizabeth Truss-Lord Chancellor, UK
Sir John Thomas Lord Chief
Justice
JUDICIARY
When speaking of judges as a group, they are referred to as
the judiciary.

There are many different levels of judges, but the basic


function is the same at all level: judges are there to
adjudicate on disputes in a fair, unbiased way, applying the
legal rules of this country.

Judges are appointed from both branches of the legal


professions, although most judges are or were barristers, as
opposed to solicitors
Judges must satisfy statutory qualifications.
The minimum experience as a lawyer is 5
years.
Most judges start as district judges or
recorders, and then seek promotion, although
it is possible to start as a Circuit judge with 7
years professional experience.
The public importance of judicial
selection
The public importance of judicial selection Although the public may not be very
familiar with the detail of judicial selection processes, there is considerable interest
among some sections of the public, academics and the media in who the judges are,
the decisions that they take and their behaviour both in and out of court. The public
and media are well aware of the significant power wielded by the judiciary. They are
also aware that although the judiciary is one arm of the state, unlike the executive or
legislature, judges in England and Wales are not elected to office. The judiciary does
not, therefore, possess the democratic legitimacy of government or Parliament.
Indeed it suffers from what is referred to as a democratic deficit. The legitimacy that
the judiciary enjoys must derive from their authority as experts and the status of the
post. It is important for this legitimacy that the public has confidence in the
competence of the judiciary and respect for their personal qualities and the way in
which they exercise the considerable power that has been entrusted to them by virtue
of their office. As Aharon Barak has remarkedAn essential condition for realizing the
judicial role is public confidence in the judge [T]he judge has neither sword nor
purse. All he has is the publics confidence in him. (The judge in a democracy.
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006) [ISBN 9780691136158] p.109)
How diversity contributes to
legitimacy
The objective of selecting well-qualified lawyers to sit on the bench is to maintain the quality
and reputation of successive generations of judges. Quality is not, however, the only factor
that influences public confidence in the judiciary. In recent years there has been growing
concern that although the quality of the judiciary has remained high, its composition does
not reflect either society at large or the characteristics of the modern legal profession. Ewing
(2001) has argued that the first requirement of any institution which exercises legislative
power is that it should be representative of those on behalf of whom it exercises that
power. Although normally this would be by election Ewing goes on to argue that while it
may not be desirable for judges to directly represent the community, there is no reason why
they cannot be representative of the community, in terms of obvious considerations such as
race and gender, and in terms also of social background, so that a judicial career is open, in
principle and in practice, to all who are suitably qualified.
Thus the purpose of judicial selection processes is not only to ensure that well-qualified
candidates are appointed to office, but also that the judiciary as an institution is reflective of
the society that it serves. It is therefore necessary to look in some detail at appointment
processes, and the pressing issue of lack of diversity within the judiciary, particularly at
senior levels.
THE HIERARCHY OF THE
JUDICIARY
Supreme Court

Court of Appeal

High Court

County Court

Magistrates Court
Supreme Court judges
The highest court in the UK is the Supreme Court. Its members
are known as the Justices of the Supreme Court.

Under the provisions of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the


Law Lords were removed from the House of Lords and reformed
into an independent Supreme Court so as to ensure a clear
separation between the judiciary and the legislature.

It took place in 2009. The Justices are appointed from the Court
of Appeal, though they may occasionally be appointed directly
from practice or from amongst leading academics. The court hear
both civil and criminal appeals of general public importance.
Appointment
Sections 23 31 deal with the appointment
of Supreme Court judges. As the Supreme
Court is a court for the whole of the UK, a
special procedure is provided for involving all
three commissions for England & Wales,
Scotland, and Northern Ireland. When a
vacancy arises at the Supreme Court, a
Supreme Court Appointment Commission
(SCAC) is convened, comprising members of
the three permanent commissions.
S.C.A.C Lord Chancellor Prime
Minister Queen Appoint
Section 23(2) provides that the Queen is to appoint Supreme
Court judges.
Section 26(2) establishes that she may only make
appointments on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
Section 26(3) provides that the Prime Minister must
recommend persons notified to him by the Lord Chancellor,
and may not recommend anyone else (it therefore appears
that the Prime Ministers role is purely symbolic).
Section 29(2) explains the Lord Chancellors role. His job is to consider
whether to accept or reject each name put forward to him by the SCAC.
Only one name at a time is put forward, and the Lord Chancellor may
accept it (and so notify the Prime Minister), reject it (in which case that
persons name cannot be put forward again), or require the SCAC to
reconsider.
If a name has been rejected then the SCAC must put forward a different
name; it the SCAC is asked to reconsider it can put forward the same name
or a different one. Note that this process cannot continue indefinitely
there would be the potential for serious abuse if the Lord Chancellor could
simply reject every name put forward by the SCAC until eventually they
came up with a name he wanted. Section 29 provides that the Lord
Chancellor can only reject once and ask for a reconsideration once after
that he must notify whichever name is put forward to him.
The selection process itself is set out in Section 27. This provides,
inter alia, that:
1. Selection must be on merit (s.27(5))
2. The Commission must consult with such of the senior judges
as are not members of the Commission and are not willing to
be considered for selection, the Lord Chancellor, the First
Minister in Scotland, the Assembly First Secretary in Wales
and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (s.27(2))
3. The Commission must have regard to any guidance given by
the Minister as to matters to be taken into account in making
a selection (s.27(9))
4. Any selection must be one person only (s.27(10))
Lords and Ladies Justice of Appeal
Judges in the Court of Appeal are usually appointed from the High Court.
They hear both civil and criminal appeals. The Civil Division sits in panels
of twos or threes, while the Criminal Division sits in threes, usually made
up of one Lord Justice, with two High Court judges, or with one High Court
judge and one Circuit judge.

Selection Panel Lord Chancellor Queen


Appoint
Sections 76 84 apply here. Appointments are to be made by the Queen
on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor, who may only
recommend someone selected by a selection panel set up by the JAC
for that purpose. The panel is to comprise (a) the Lord Chief Justice; (b) a
Head of Division or Lord Justice of Appeal; (c) the chair of the JAC; (d)
one other lay member of the JAC. The same recommend / reconsider /
reject options are available as described above.
High Court

Judicial Appointment Commission Lord


Chancellor Queen Appoint
High Court judges
High Court judges (or puisn judges), are usually appointed from the ranks of Recorders or
Deputy High Court judges, or occasionally from the Circuit Bench. They are appointed to
one of the three Divisions of the High Court (Queens Bench, Family and Chancery) and
regularly travel around the country, hearing the most important civil and criminal cases.
Sections 85 94 apply here. Appointments are made either by the Queen (following a
recommendation from the Lord Chancellor) or by the Lord Chancellor personally, following
a selection made by the JAC, the process being essentially the same as that described
above.
Here the JAC for England & Wales will operate, and there appears to be no role (symbolic
or otherwise) for the Prime Minister. Otherwise, the process is essentially the same as
described above. Sections 63 66 contain General provisions regarding the appointment
of all other judges in England & Wales, i.e. up to and including the level of the Court of
Appeal. Section 63(2) echoes s.27(5) in requiring that selection must be on merit. Section
63(3) further provides that the JAC must not select a person for appointment unless
satisfied that he or she is of good character.
Section 64 provides that the JAC in performing its functions must have regard to the
need to encourage diversity in the range of persons available for selection for
appointments.
Deputy High Court judges
These judges are also senior practising
lawyers, who sit as part-time High Court
judges. They do not have security of tenure
and are appointed when the workload of the
court requires more temporary judges. Some
will go on to be appointed to the full-time
High Court Bench.
Circuit judges
Usually appointed from among Recorders or
District judges, Circuit judges hear middle-
ranking and more serious criminal cases in the
Crown Court and civil cases in the County
Court.
District judges
Appointed from Deputy District judges, most District judges
are former solicitors. They handle the bulk of less serious
judicial work in the County Court. They carry out a wide range
of different work, such as family cases, breaches of contract
and negligence claims.
District judges (Magistrates Courts)
These are professional magistrates who are lawyers (unlike
the majority of the 30,000 magistrates, who are lay people).
They sit in the magistrates courts hearing mostly the more
serious criminal cases dealt with there. They also hear some
civil work such as family cases.
Recorders
These are part-time judges. They are
practising lawyers (barristers or solicitors) who
sit as judges for approximately 20 days per
year. They hear both criminal and civil cases
sitting in the Crown Court and County Court.
Tribunals, Courts & Enforcement Act 2007

The Tribunals, Courts & Enforcement Act 2007 makes some changes to
the appointment of judges:
S.50 reduces the minimum qualifying periods for District judges (from
7 to 5 years); Recorders, Circuit judges, High Court and Court of Appeal
judges (from 10 to 7 years)
S.51 allows those with ILEX qualifications to become judges
S.50 of the 2007 Act also requires that judicial candidates have gained
experience in law
S.52 gives examples of what this means:
practice or employment as a lawyer;
advising on the application of the law;
acting as an arbitrator;
acting as a mediator;
teaching or researching law.
THE FUNCTIONS OF THE
JUDICIARY
1. Essentially, the role of judges is to interpret and uphold the law. The law
is laid down in statutes by Parliament. The common law is judge-made
law.
2. Judicial Review- It is also the role of the judges to act as a check on
the misuse of power usually through judicial review. The Administrative
Court (formerly known as the Divisional Court) can review the decision of
any inferior court, tribunal or public body.
3. Law Making: Creating common law; judges are exclusively responsible for
the law of equity. Many areas of law have little Parliamentary
involvement, the law of contract is an example of this, although
Parliament has passed some legislation affecting privity and the effect of
minors' contracts.
4. Sentencing Judges play a particularly important role in sentencing. In the
Crown Court a judge may be asked to correct a sentence imposed by magistrates.
After a trial in the Crown Court the judge is solely responsible for the sentence.
Appeals against sentence take up a very large amount of time in the Court of
Appeal. They can be asked to change a sentence by the defendant, or by the
prosecution. The defendant can appeal on the grounds that his sentence is harsh,
and the prosecution can appeal on the basis that the sentence imposed was
"unduly lenient". The Court of Appeal is also responsible for issuing guidance of
sentencing on the advice of the Sentencing Advisory Panel.

5. Public enquiries Judges are regularly asked to chair important public enquiries.
these can have profound importance and can have great political consequences.
Some notable enquiries: The Hutton Enquiry; The Stephen Lawrence Enquiry; The
Shipman Enquiry
APPOINTMENT OF THE JUDICIARY
Before 2004, judges of the Court of Appeal and above were
chosen by the Queen, on the recommendation of the Prime
Minister, acting on the advice of the Lord Chancellor.
For High Court judges and below, the Prime Minister played
no role and the Queen was advised by the Lord Chancellor
directly. This system, in which judicial appointments were
effectively solely in the hands of the Lord Chancellor, worked
well when the judiciary was very small and almost all of its
members where chosen from senior members of the Bar,
most of whom the Lord Chancellor would know personally.
However, as the system expanded and concerns about
independence, accountability and lack of transparency grew,
pressure to reform the system increased.
Criticisms of Previous Appointment

The majority of senior judges in England & Wales are


1) white,
2) male,
3) middle-aged or elderly,
4) privately-educated Oxbridge graduates and
5) former barristers.

Other criticisms:
6) Secret sounding
7) undemocratic
1. White
No members of the ethnic minorities have ever been
appointed to the House of Lords or Court of Appeal.
In October 2004, Linda Dobbs QC made legal history
by becoming the first black person (either male or
female) to be appointed to the High Court. Non-
white judges are relatively rare in other common law
courts too, although there is a black judge in the
United States Supreme Court: Clarence Thomas,
from Georgia, appointed 1991 (after being
nominated by George Bush).
2. Male

In January 2004, Brenda Hale became the first


woman judge appointed to the House of
Lords. There have only ever been 4 female
Court of Appeal judges. There have only ever
been 17 female High Court judges. There are
presently eleven. The lack of female judges in
the House of Lords until so recently does not
compare very favourably with other common
law supreme courts.
3. Middle-aged of Elderly
The age of the judiciary has remained constant over many years. Although
the Lord Chancellor abolished minimum age limits in 2002, it is effectively
impossible to become a judge earlier than 30 (once the minimum
statutory qualifications have been obtained). Even though judges now
have to retire at 70, this is still five years older than most other
occupations. In 1987 it was commented that: A judiciary composed
predominantly of senior citizens cannot hope to apply contemporary
standards or to understand contemporary concerns. There is no
maximum age limit for judges of the United States Supreme Court. The
senior judge, William Rehnquist, from Milwaukee, celebrated his 80th
birthday in 2004.
4. Privately Educated and
Oxbridge Graduates
Before the Courts & Legal Services Act 1990, judges were
almost exclusively selected from practising barristers.
Primarily because of the expense involved in becoming a
barrister, successful barristers have tended to come from
reasonably well-off families, who of course are more likely to
have sent their children to public school and on to Oxbridge.
In March 2003, the law firm S. J. Berwin carried out a survey
into the educational background of the senior judiciary, and
discovered that all of the present Law Lords that had been
educated in England had attended either Oxford or Cambridge
Universities.
5. Barristers
Only two solicitors have reached the High Court. The first was the late
Michael Sachs. He became a recorder in 1980 and a Circuit judge in 1984,
before he was appointed to the Queens Bench Division in 1993 where he
remained until his death in 2003. The second was Lawrence Collins, a
senior partner at Herbert Smith, who became the first solicitor to be
appointed directly to the High Court, also to the Queens Bench Division,
in 2000.

The Law Society Gazette, 8th November 2001, commented: At present,


appointments of solicitors are concentrated at the lower levels of the
judiciary. It is important to fully modernise the appointments system so
that solicitors have an equal chance of appointment to more senior posts
as well.
6. Secret Soundings
The problem is self-evident: the English judiciary is extremely unrepresentative of
the population as a whole. But what has caused it? The obvious target is the Lord
Chancellors controversial secret soundings policy, which allegedly promotes a
self-perpetuating judiciary. The argument is a simple, logical one. If the present
judiciary is dominated by older, white men who were nearly all privately educated
Oxbridge graduates who practised at the bar, and they are asked to recommend
future judges, they are highly likely to recommend people like themselves (only
younger versions). Several commentators certainly share that view. See Gavin
Drewry, of the University of London, in his article Judicial Appointments [1998]
Public Law 1; or Dr Kate Malleson, of the London School of Economics, in her
article Another nail in the coffin? (2002) New Law Journal 1573. Numerous articles
and editorials have appeared in the Law Society Gazette and other journals over
the last few years criticising the old boy network and secret soundings process
for discriminating directly against solicitors and indirectly against women and
ethnic minorities.
7. Role of Lord Chancellor

The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and
important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second
highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High
Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of
the Prime Minister. Prior to the Union there were separate Lord Chancellors[1] of
England and Scotland.
The Lord Chancellor is a member of the Cabinet and, by law, is responsible for the
efficient functioning and independence of the courts. Formerly he was also the
presiding officer of the House of Lords, and the head of the judiciary in England
and Wales, but the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 transferred these roles to
the Lord Speaker and the Lord Chief Justice respectively. The current Lord
Chancellor is Kenneth Clarke, who as with his predecessor Jack Straw is
also Secretary of State for Justice. Clarke holds the position, as did Straw, while
serving as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons; Jack Straw was the
first Lord Chancellor since the seventeenth century not to be a peer. Straw's
predecessor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton served as Secretary of State for
Constitutional Affairs before that post was superseded by the post of Secretary of
State for Justice in 2007.
IMPACT OF CRA 2005
The Constitutional Reform Act established a completely new system in
which judges are appointed by an independent judicial appointments
commission.
Approximately 900 full and part-time judges are appointed each year,
making it a major administrative process. There is an annual competition
cycle and all ranks below the Court of Appeal are now advertised.
Candidates are required to complete an application form (though High
Court judge appointments can still be made by invitation rather than
application). To be appointed, candidates must fulfill the eligibility
requirements of a certain number of years in practice (usually seven or
10) or a certain period of judicial office. The applications are then
measured against the selection criteria on the basis of the information
provided on the application form, an interview, the references, and the
feedback from the consultation process, through which the opinions of
judges and senior lawyers are sought regarding the suitability of
applicants.
New appointment- from 2006

Candidates will submit a nine-page application


form, and shortlisted candidates will be
interviewed. All candidates will be judged on
merit measured by five core qualities:
intellectual capacity; personal qualities
(integrity, independence, judgment,
decisiveness, objectivity, ability; willingness to
learn); ability to understand and deal fairly;
authority and communication skills; and
efficiency.
The consultation process is the heart of the system and no
candidate will be appointed without a significant body of
support amongst the consultees. This process is described by
critics as a secret sounding system. The former Lord
Chancellor, Lord Irvine, fiercely defended the system as a
highly professional and effective means of obtaining a wide
range of different views and opinions of candidates.
Nevertheless, criticism remains strong, and lawyers from non-
traditional backgrounds in particular remain sceptical about
the fairness of the system.
The Judicial Appointments Commission is an independent non-
departmental public body which was created on 3 April 2006 as part of
the reforms following the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. It takes over a
responsibility that was previously in the hands of the Lord Chancellor and
the Department of Justice (previously the Lord Chancellors Department),
although the Lord Chancellor retains responsibility for appointing the
selected candidates. The Lord Chancellor has also given up his other
judicial functions, including the right to sit as a judge in the House of
Lords.
The Commission launched its new system on 31 October 2006 when it was
to be used for the first time to select up to 25 new High Court judges, with
adverts appearing in the press. This laid out the approach adopted for
future judicial appointments to courts and tribunals across England and
Wales.
Composition of JAC

The Commission is made up of 15 members: 2 from


the legal profession (1 barrister, 1 solicitor), 5 judges,
1 tribunal member, 1 lay justice (magistrate) and 6
lay people, including the chairman, supported by a
staff of over 100. The members of the first
Commission include the Chairman, the Right
Honourable The Baroness Prashar, CBE, and as a lay
member, one of the Professors of London University,
Professor Dame Hazel Genn.
OTHER MODELS FOR JUDICIAL
APPOINTMENTS
1. USA MODEL
The model of appointment used by the United States Supreme Court is
confirmation hearings. Essentially, what happens is that the US President makes
appointments to this court but all his appointments are subject to confirmation by
the US Senate (the upper House of Congress (the US Parliament)).
However, this is not the only method used in America for the appointment of
judges. In some states of the USA, judges are chosen by the electorate in a broadly
similar way to the way in which we elect our politicians. In other states, judges are
first appointed (typically by the State Governor) but the appointee is the subject to
confirmation by the electorate, usually after one or two years in office.
The merit of these systems is that they are, of course, democratic. The drawbacks
are that it is subject to the same weakness that dogs political campaigns,
especially those in the United States, i.e. that the candidates with the most cash
can pay for the best advertising and promotional campaigns. The following
weaknesses have been identified by the American Judicature Society, (a body that
promotes the second system described above):
Democracy requires an informed choice and, with a large number of
candidates in some areas, it is impossible for even the best-intentioned
voter to be well informed. On the other hand, in many jurisdictions,
candidates run unopposed and the voter has no choice at all.
In some States, the support of a political party is essential. This means
that the candidates political credentials come first. The decision as to
whom a party supports may have more to do with campaign work,
attendance at party functions, fundraising, etc., than how good a judge
the candidate might be. Many well-qualified lawyers without the proper
political credentials never get to the bench.
Some elected judges may feel obligated to those who helped him or her
get to the bench. This raises questions about the successful judges
impartiality.
FRENCH MODEL
Yet another model, one which is widely used on the continent
is a career judiciary. France is a useful example. In the late
1950s the cole Nationale de la Magistrature (ENM) was
established in Bordeaux. This ended the system whereby
judges were recruited exclusively from among lawyers, and
introduced career judges. The ENM takes French law
graduates straight from university, and they receive 2 years
training. After this they are eligible to start hearing cases. This
means that judges in their mid-20s are not unknown. The
French system has had two effects:
the age profile has been lowered;
there are now more female than male judges.
Indeed, in an article by Adam Sage in The Times newspaper on
3 June 2003, Women on top in race to sit on the bench, it
was noted that men are now in a small minority amongst
French judicial appointments, which is creating resentment.
The reason for this seems to be that more female law
graduates are choosing the judicial career route, while men go
for the lawyers profession. According to the article, in 2002,
over 75% of the applicants for a place at the ENM were
female. However, it should also be noted that a greater
proportion of the women applicants passed the entrance
examinations (11% compared to 8% of men).
DUTCH MODEL
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, a hybrid system with elements of the UK
and French models is used: some judges are appointed from the legal
professions (as in the UK) while some are recruited from University and
trained specifically to be judges (as in France). Colette Blair, Judicial
Appointments Research Report No.5 on behalf of the Northern Ireland
Office (2000) writes: The judicial career model from the Netherlands is
interesting as it represents a compromise between common law and civil
law. This model could provide a workable alternative to the current
system [enabling] those who seek judicial appointment to attain a
relevant and tailored judicial education, while keeping open the option for
exceptional candidates to be selected from the practising profession to
join the judiciary.
EU and ECtHR MODEL
Yet another possibility is to allow academic lawyers to become
judges. Already, judges of the Court of Justice of the European
Communities in Luxembourg and of the European Court of
Human Rights in Strasbourg do not have to have been judges
in their home country or to have been lawyers previously.
Interestingly, decisions of both of these Courts are binding on
all UK courts, including the Supreme Court, by virtue of the
European Communities Act 1972 and the Human Rights Act
1998, respectively.
TRAINING OF THE JUDICIARY
Judges receive a surprisingly short period of training. Although the vast
majority of judges are experienced lawyers this does not mean that they
are going to be great judges. They are not even required to have practised
as barristers in the area of law in which they become judges! It is quite
possible for a new High Court Judge to try a serious criminal case, e.g.
involving murder or rape, without ever having practised as a criminal law
barrister. What training there is, is arranged by the Judicial Studies Board
(JSB), which was only established in 1979.
The amount of judicial training has increased over the years. The passing
of the Children Act 1989 prompted extra training from social workers,
psychiatrists and paediatricians. The Equal Treatment Advisory
Committee advises the JSB on race issues.
RETIREMENT OF JUDGES
Compulsory retirement is at 70 (lowered from
75 in 1993). However, the Lord Chancellor is
empowered to allow judges to retire later
than this at his discretion. Thus, Lord Denning
MR retired in 1982 aged 83, Lord Lane CJ
retired in 1992 aged 76, and Sir Stephen
Brown stood down as President of the Family
Division in 1999 aged 74.