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Judicial Hierarchy
Type of Type of Judge Role
House of Lords of Appeal in Hears appeals to the
Lords Ordinary (the Law House of Lords and
(see notes on Lords) they also sit in the
supreme Privy Council
Court of Civil Division and Civil Division Presided
Appeal Criminal Division over by the Master
of the roles and
Criminal Division
presided by the Lord
Chief Justice
High Court o High court Judges The High Court is
o Masters divided into three
o Registrars divisions: Chancery,
o Deputy Masters Queens Bench and
o District Judges/ Family. The High
Deputy District Court is located in
Judges who sit in London but there are
the Family Division District Registries of
or District the High Court
Registries. located in various
parts of England and

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Lord Justice of Are appointed by the Monarch on the advice
Appeal of the Prime Minister, who receives advice
from the Lord Chancellor, who normally
consults senior members of the judiciary.
They must have ten year "High Court
Qualification" or be judges of the High Court,
which is the normal route.
High Court Are appointed by the Queen on the advice of
Judges the Lord Chancellor.…read more

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The Lord
Chancellor does not normally appoint anyone
below the age of 35.
District Judges District Judges are appointed by the Lord
Chancellor and sit fulltime in the county
courts or district registries of the High Court,
disposing of 80 per cent of all contested civil
litigations. The statutory qualified is seven
year general qualification, meaning barristers
or solicitor. The Lord Chancellor normally only
considers applicants who have been serving
deputy district judges for two years, aged 40
­ 60.…read more

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Judicial Selection:
Judicial Selection: Lord Chancellor selected prior to 2006
(supervised by Commission for Judicial Appointments). However as a
result of criticism, in 1994 junior posts were advertised and
interviewed for the first time, with a panel of three making a
"recommendation" to the Lord Chancellor. Applicants were also
required to attend an assessment day. The latter included written law
examinations and role-plays.…read more

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That all vacancies are advertised and with job descriptions and
person specifications.
o That the Lord Chancellors Department publish the key
determinants affecting an applicant's chances of success.
o Detailed feedback based on the selection criteria should be
offered to all unsuccessful candidates.
o That the requirement for the High Court judges to spend up to
3 months of the year away from home, be removed as it
discriminates against females.…read more

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Judicial Composition
(Source: Labour Research Surveys)
Proportion of judges who went to Oxbridge universities:
SINCE 1997'
House of Lords 92% 100%
Court of Appeal 91% 95%
High Court 82% 81%
(Queens Bench)
(Chancery) 94% 100%
(Family) 57% 20%
Circuit 53% 46%
ALL 60% 60%
Research found that
o The UK's Judiciary remains overwhelmingly elitist, white, male and
o In terms of educational background, 67% went to a public school
and 60% went to Oxford or Cambridge universities
o Under the Labour…read more

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The Social Background of Judges
Senior judges are drawn from the ranks of barristers. Traditionally,
those training to become barristers have required a private income to
survive the first few years of practice. Becoming a barrister is an
expensive process. As a result, large sections of the population are
excluded. The result is that most barristers and, therefore, most
judges come from a small section of society, move in rarefied circles
and share the values of the privileged few.…read more

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As Lord Lester pointed out "it says in the Bible that no man should
serve two masters. The Lord Chancellor serves two if not three and
cannot go on wearing all those different hats."
Additional Criticisms over the Appointment of the
i) Selection dominated by politicians and too secretive.
ii) Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor play central roles in
the selection process and bring politics in to the selection
of judges.…read more

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The Department of Constructional Affairs published a consultation
document outlining proposals for change. The consultation paper
sought views on the form/ and role that the new Judicial
Appointments Commission could take. There were 3 broad models
1) An appointing commission which would make the appointment
that the Lord Chancellor currently makes personally.
2) A recommendation commission which would make
recommendation to a minister as to whom he/she should appoint
3) A hybrid commission that would appoint junior posts (e.g.…read more


Smith E

Very detailed. From this, you could compile revision notes. The judicial composition section is an unusual element, good though. 

Vicky Hendry - Team GR

Great revision source, thank you!

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