Meaning of the term Judicial Independence

The standard qualifications needed for judicial appointment are laid out in potential and those who appear to be best qualified may be appointed by the entitled individual. Lord Chancellor is the key person who holds charge over the power of appointment of Judges he brings forward the lower rank of the judiciary directly which compromise of inferior judges taking account of Circuit Judges, Recorders and Stipendiary Magistrates. The higher ranks are appointed by the Queen following recommendation of the Prime Minister as a candidate for local and national elections.

These involve appointments of superior judges which consist of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, Heads of Division, Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice of Appeal and Lord Chief Justice also responsible for appointing High Court Judges. The Lord Chancellor alone appoints judges for the higher positions by keeping profiles on anyone suitable who has been bought to his attention. Deputy High Court Judges which include Assistant Recorders, Deputy District and full-time District Judges.

The different type of judges are appointed in different ways but the Lord Chancellors department is responsible for all appointments, and those who are selected have usually either qualified as a solicitor or barrister. District judges, who are at the bottom of the hierarchy. Are appointed from former solicitors through advertisements and need to have been in practice for at least 7 years. They are appointed by the Crown on the recommendations of the Lord Chancellor which means they are formally appointed by the Queen.

It is similar for part-time judges or recorders. They are also appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor, however, their appointment are subject to renewal every three years. Though circuit judges need to have been practising lawyers for ten years or have been district judges for at least 3 years. They sit in the County and Crown Courts and are appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor. High Court Judges are appointed fro advocate of at least 10 years experience.

They are knighted on appointment and like the junior judges, are appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor. For more senior judges, like the Lords Justice of Appeal appointment is from among High Court Judges but it is technically possible for appointment, to be made from among the practitioners with at least 15 years experience of advocacy. They are appointed by the Crown on the recommendations of the Prime Minister though the P. M relies on the Lord Chancellors Department.

Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are the most senior judges who are appointed from among the Lords Justice of Appeal, yet again it is possible for an advocate with 11 years experience to be appointed straight to this position. They are appointed by the Crown on Recommendation of the Prime Minister. After Lords of Appeal is the Master of the Rolls who is the Head of Court of Appeal in the Civil Division. This judge is selected from a list of solicitors who are entitled to practice by invitation.

Although most judges retire at the age of 70, district, part-time and circuit judges can be relieved of their position by the Lord Chancellor for misbehaviour and/or incapacity. However, High Court justices, Lords Justice of Appeal and Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, as well as the Master of Rolls can only be removed from office by the request of both Houses of Parliament. Of Judges consists of the Judicial Studies Board institution which was set up in 1979 and is observed to determine the principles on which judicial studies should be planned and to consider the proposed forms of the study programmes and to also approve them in procedure.

There are five committees responsible for carrying out the work of Judicial Studies Board these are criminal, family jurisdictions, civil; magistrates and tribunals training of full or part-time judiciary. Judges receive very little training as they are probably experienced lawyers but do not have the abilities and qualities suggested for a judge and therefore are not enabled to undertake the requirements. This training is targeted at the lower end of the judicial scale.

Once a judge has been appointed they take a one week course of training and are then contracted to work shadow an experienced judge for a short period of one week to learn the basic concepts of the role of a judge. During their training judge's sit to hear cases. There are also one-day courses available. In 1993 the Runciman Commission on Criminal Justice advised a refresher course every two years. Critics point out training for judges is too short. Judges will be experienced as lawyers but not intensifying up the jury or sentencing.

High Court Judges do not have compulsory training as they are invited to attend courses run by the Judicial Studies Board. The judicial studies board is set by Lord Justice Henry who provides new training for all new judges. The training has been dealing with the use of ICT, which is said to be important by Lord Woolf to run civil courts efficiently and to get judges to implement the Human Rights Act 1998 which incorporates the conviction of Human Rights into English law.

Under this board Judges receive training in race and gender equality. High judges for how to improve have made the following recommendations. Helena Kennedy suggests that judges would benefit from sabbaticals giving them time to study the good practices of judges in other countries. Judge Pickles and Lord Scarman believe more training is needed in sociology, psychology, penology and criminology and to learn more about law criminals dealt with by other legal systems.