Roles and Functions of Judges

  • Preside over criminal trials
  • Deliver sentences
  • Peacefully resolve civil disputes
  • Uphold the will of the legislature and the spirit of the constitution
  • Judicial review
  • May be asked to chair inquiries such as the Chilcot Inquiry
  • Used to be law lords who could sit in the HOL

Social background

  • Tend to be white
  • Male
  • One female on the Supreme Court (Lady Hale)
  • Conservative

Judicial Neutrality

  • Judges interpret the law without intereference of their personal views
  • Our constitution ensures this via the rule of law
  • It can be argued that the judiciary is not neutral because AG Griffith argued that judges were not neutral due to their upbringing eg. 25% female, 7%BME
  • However it can be argued that judges are neutral because ability and experience allows them to be neutral. There have recently been rulings against the government such as the Belmarsh Prison case and recent studies show that 55% of judges under 40 are female



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