Judges
Produced in partnership with Adam Cygan of University of Leicester and Mr Darragh Connell of Maitland Chambers

The following Public Law practice note produced in partnership with Adam Cygan of University of Leicester and Mr Darragh Connell of Maitland Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Judges
  • The judicial branch
  • Independence
  • Integrity
  • Impartiality, bias & recusal
  • Giving judgment
  • Open justice administered in public
  • Lord Chancellor
  • The Lord Chief Justice
  • Judicial appointments
  • More...

Judges

The judicial branch

The judicial branch of government in England and Wales operates independently of the executive and legislature, and contains the Senior Courts, which consist of the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the Crown Court. The county courts and the magistrates’ courts are also a further branch of the judiciary.

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (CRA 2005) provided for the creation of the Supreme Court as the final court of appeal in the UK. The UK Supreme Court was established in October 2009, replacing the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords as the highest court in the UK. It is separate from the courts of England and Wales, as it is also the Supreme Court of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Judges and magistrates are appointed by and derive their authority from the Crown. Judges must, however, exercise their authority in a lawful manner, without deviating from the known and stated forms. Thus the effective functioning of the judiciary requires independence, impartiality and freedom from political and other pressures in the determination of the law and the adjudication of disputes. For more information on separation of powers, see Practice Note: Separation of powers: legislative, executive and judiciary.

Independence

Judicial independence is a prerequisite to the rule of law and a fundamental guarantee of a fair trial. A judge shall therefore uphold and exemplify judicial independence

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