Judicial Appointments

Also available in Burmese

Overview

What?

  • This primer covers the systems used for appointing judges inc onstitutional democracies.
  • Various commonly used systems of appointment are discussed, including career judiciaries, appointment by an independent commission and appointment by the representative or cooperative interaction of legislative and executive branches.

Why?

  • The judiciary interprets the law and applies it to particular cases. An independent, politically impartial, honest and competent judiciary is necessary for the rule of law and for the strength and resilience of a democratic constitutional order. It is therefore important that the mode of selecting judges helps to meet these requirements.

How?

  • The factors to consider include: (i) independence of the judiciary from the executive and legislature, party politics and vested interests; (ii) ensuring the representativeness and inclusiveness of the judiciary, especially with regard to gender, status, ethnicity or origin; and (iii) ensuring that judges are of sufficient quality and calibre to perform their duties.

Where?

  • Civil-law jurisdictions tend toward a career judiciary formed on bureaucratic lines at the lower levels, with an elected or representationally appointed constitutional court.
  • Common-law jurisdictions rely increasingly on judicial appointments commissions.