The Dismissal of Judges

Topics: Judge, Judiciary of England and Wales, Constitutional Reform Act 2005 Pages: 2 (666 words) Published: September 10, 2011
Explain how judges can be dismissed from the office

Judges represent an important central role in adjudicating disputes in a fair, unbiased manner by applying legal rules and play a vital role in controlling the exercise of power by the state. Judges may leave their position by the termination of an appointment: Dismissal due to breaching judicial disciplines, resignation of their own choice or suggestion by the Lord Chancellor for misbehaviour, removal due to disability by permanent infirmity from performance of duties and retirement at the age of 70 under the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993. Superior judges, judges who sit above the High Court, have security of tenure that they cannot be dismissed by the Lord Chancellor or the Government. The Act of Settlement 1700 allows them to hold office while of good behaviour. The same provision is contained in the Senior Courts Act 1981 for High Court Judges and Lord Justices of Appeal. Likewise, the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 contains provisions regarding the Justices of the Supreme Court. As a result, Superior Judges can only be removed by the monarch following a petition presented to him by both Houses of the Parliaments, which are the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The machinery for dismissal has been used only once when Sir Barrington, a High Court Judge was charged with appropriating court funds for his own use. The Lord Chief Justice can dismiss judges who are of ill-health and are incapable of carrying out work after consulting Lord Chancellor. This power was first introduced in the Administration of Justice Act 1973 and now contained in the Senior Courts Act 1981.This pressure has been put on unsatisfactory High Court Judges to resign. However, the same security of tenure does not apply to inferior judges. Under the Courts Act 1971, circuit and district judges can be dismissed by the Lord Chancellor, if the Lord Chief Justice agrees for ‘inability’ and ‘misbehaviour’, which normally...
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