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What’s Wrong with our Judges?

“Verdict on the judges: too male, too white, too elitist” (Times, 6 July 2011). Is this fair?

There are two criticisms of judges.

First, that the quality of judging would be “better” if there were more women, ethnic minority and non-Oxbridge judges.

Good judging requires high intelligence, a legal qualification, years of successful legal practice and the quality of “judgment”. Few meet these stringent criteria. If we want “better” judges, the Judicial Appointments Commission must fulfil its mandate to appoint judges only on merit, regardless of social background.

Secondly, “There will be more confidence in judicial decisions if the higher judiciary comprises those from every section of society” (Times 7 July 2011)

But would the public really Inside a recent note to traders, Simkins noted that similar talk had recommended South america would open its market after Rio p Janeiro was granted both 2014 FIFA World Cup and also the 2016 Olympic games, yet that chicken has yet to hatch. have more confidence in a judiciary more representative of society, especially if this was at the expense of quality? This would be a useful topic for research from countries, like South Africa, that have changed the ethnic composition of their judiciaries. Judges cannot be representative of society in, for example, age, intelligence or income.

There is very little public confidence in politicians, the very people trying to meddle in judicial appointments. Is not appointment solely on merit and integrity the best way of ensuring confidence in the judiciary?

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