The Judiciary

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The Judiciary.
Types of judges.
Inferior Judges; these are all judges below those that serve in the High Court.
Circuit judges; sit in Crown Court & County Court.
Recorders; are part time judges, & sometimes sit in Crown & County Court.
District judges; deal with small claims in County Court.
Magistrates; sit in the Magistrates court in major towns & cities.
Chairman of tribunals.
Superior Judges; these are all judges who serve in the High Court & above.
In House of Lords, Court of Appeal & High Court.
Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are also called Law Lords.
Lord Justices of Appeal sit in the Court of Appeal.
Qualifications.
Set out in the Courts & Legal Services Act 1990; qualifications are based on the relevant
certificate of advocacy (must have qualified to have the right to present cases in court).
Act provides for promotion.
Before the Act, barristers who practised at the Bar for at least 10 years could become High
Court Judges or above.
Now, is necessary to be qualified as either a Barrister or Solicitor (it is no longer essential to
have practised).
Academic lawyers can be appointed as judges as well as those who have practised.
Since 1994, lawyers working in the civil service & the Crown Prosecution Service are eligible
to become judges.
Changes have helped to widen number of potential candidates.
Law lords.
Appointed from those who hold high judicial office e.g. judge in the Court of Appeal, or those
who have been qualified to appear in the Supreme Court for at least 15 years.
The House of Lords in the final court for Scotland & Northern Ireland as well.
Judges can be appointed from those who have practised as an advocate in Scotland for at
least 15 years or as a member of the Bar in Northern Ireland for at least 15 years or have
held a high judicial office in their own legal system.
There are 12 Lords of Appeal in ordinary.
Lord Justices of Appeal.
Must have held a High Court qualification for at least 10 years or be an existing High Court
judge, (nearly all Lord Justices of Appeal have been appointed from existing High Court
Judges).
Until 2006, all Lord Justices of Appeal had been qualified as barristers.
In 2007 the first solicitor Lord Justice of Appeal was appointed.

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High Court Judges.
Either have had the right to practise in the High Court for at least 2 years or have been a
Circuit Judge for at least 2 years.
Prior to 19 90, only those who had practised as a barrister for 10 years were eligible.
Solicitors now have the chance to become High Court Judges, either by promotion from a
Circuit judgeship or holding a certificate for advocacy for 10 years.…read more

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When a vacancy came up the Lord Chancellor would consider the files.
The system of selection was seen as secretive & bias.
From 1998, vacancies were advertised & any qualified person could apply.
Lord Chancellor's major role was very controversial.
Method was changed by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 & a judicial appointments
commission was set up.
Judicial Appointments Commission.
Set up in April 2000.
Selects 500 to 700 people per year.…read more

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The old system; the Lord Chancellor draws up a short list in order of preference. The Prime
Minister selects from the list & nominates them to be appointed by the Queen. Nearly always
the first choice candidate is appointed. Margret Thatcher on at least once occasion vetoed
the first choice & nominated the second choice.
Judges of the new Supreme Court.
In 2009, all existing law lords became judges in the Supreme Court.…read more

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Judges decide award or court order.
Judges in any Appeal Case.
In appeal cases judges don't usually have to concern themselves with issue of fact.
They interpret the law & decide whether the trial judge got the law right & applied it
correctly to the facts.
They may also have to decide if the sentence or award was appropriate.
Law Lords.
There are 12 law lords (only 1 is female).
Judges hear about 70 appeal cases each year, either civil or criminal cases.…read more

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There are 72 judges in the Queen's Bench Division, 17 judges in the Chancery Division & 18 in
the Family Court.
There are deputy High Court judges to help with the workload.
Mainly to try cases, hear evidence, decide on what the law is & make decision.
High court judges sometimes hear appeals, mainly civil cases in county court appeals.
The Queen's Bench Division also hear criminal appeals from the Magistrates Court, sitting
with the jury.
Training.
Carried out by the judicial studies board.…read more

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Average age judge lower (especially in lower ranks) & the judges receive far more training in
specific judge skills.
However continental system is seen as being closely linked to the Government (as they are
civil servants). In the UK judges are considered independent as they are separate from
Parliament.
Tenure.
Removal from Office.
All judges now retire at 70.
Superior Judges.
Can't be dismissed by the Government.
Are very hard to dismiss as they are protected by the Act of Settlement 17 hundred. "...…read more

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Women in the Judiciary.
Small number.
Improved since 19 90.
First women judge Queen's Bench Division appointed in 19 92, first woman in the Chancery
Division in 19 93.
Were called `Lords', until the Courts Act 2003, now called `Lady's'.
Second woman appointed in 19 99 & third in 2000.
Only female judge in House of Lords appointed in 2004.
In 2007, there were only 10 out of 100 judges were female.
In 2007, 12% of circuit judges & 15% of recorders were female.…read more

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Has an executive role of; being the Minister of Justice ­ a government department, is
appointed by the Prime Minister & always is a member of the political party in power at a
time.
Has a legislative role of; sitting in the legislative MP in the House of Commons (doesn't tend
to get involved in political debates involving the law). The Lord Chancellor used to sit in the
House of Lords, but is no longer a Law Lord (Constitutional Reforms Act 2005).…read more

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Lord Chancellor & other Ministers must not seek to influence particular judicial decisions.
Ministry of Justice.
Created in 2007, to bring together the key elements of the justice system under one
ministry.
Previously the Department for Constitutional Affairs & the Home Office had had
responsibility for separate parts of the justice system.
Ministry of Justice has responsibility for; the civil courts, the criminal courts, the judiciary,
legal aid & funding of cases, prisons, the probation service & sentencing.…read more

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