Research Applying the law to the facts. The Crown

 

Research report structure

context

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A summary of the legal issue

The retirement age for judges should be raised to 75 mainly because
at 75 and over, judged are more experienced and skilled and their field of
work and are more likely to make better judicial decisions. However, it is
seen that at that age, judges are too old and not fit to work.

The conclusion

It is unfair to force judges to retire at 70. Those whose minds
remain sharp and focused at 70 with no mental or physical issues should be
assessed to prove they are fit to make judicial decision. If they pass the
test then they should be allowed to work pass the age of 70.

Advice

N/A

Applying the law to the facts.

The Crown court sittings are mainly undertaken by Circuit Judges and
Recorders. This is seen under the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993,
subject to the power of extension year-on-year to an age limit of 75 under
ss.26(5) and (6) of the Act and to transitional provisions under which a
judge already serving on the implementation of the Act (31 March 1995)
retains his pre-existing retirement age. It is currently the policy that
Recorders cease to serve at the end of the financial year in which they reach
the age of 65. The retirement age for Law Lords is set at 70 by the 1993 Act,
subject to the transitional provisions already mentioned. In their case there
is no provision for the extension of service under s.26 of the Act.
The procedures to continue for judicial office after normal
retirement date are set out in ss.26(5) and (6) of the 1993 Act, as amended
by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, enabling the Lord Chief Justice to
extend Circuit Judge appointments with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor
if he considers it to suite the public interest. Separately, provisions exist
for the appointment of retired Circuit Judges as Deputy Circuit Judges, under
s.24 of the Courts Act 1971, as amended by s.55 of the Tribunals, Courts and
Enforcement Act 2007. The Lord Chancellor with the concurrence of the Lord
Chief Justice needs to approve a business case before appointing a retiring
Circuit Judge to sit as a DCJ.
 
The only judges allowed to remain on the bench beyond 70 are those
who were appointed before 1995.  The
age limit for Deputy Circuit Judges is 75. Lord Denning was the last exempt
jurist in England retiring in 1982. The 1993 Act made the ordinary retirement
age 70, and while enabling a minister (presumably the Lord Chancellor) to
allow individual judges to remain in office until 75, it expressly forbids
persons aged over 75 to hold any judicial post whatsoever.
 
Circuit judges are paid £134,000 and high court judges £180,000 a
year, far less than successful QCs can earn in private practice. Cuts to
pensions have added to their resentments.
Courts are running out of qualified judges, peers are told
 Read more
 
Addressing the constitution select committee, Lady Hale, deputy
president of the supreme court, explained that nine posts would open up on
the supreme court before 2020.
The reason, she said, was mainly because justices have to retire at
the age of 70 “even though they are at the height of their powers, which is a
great shame”.
The only judges allowed to remain on the bench beyond 70 are those
who were appointed before 1995. Not many remain active. By contrast, the
eligible age for jury members was raised from 70 to 75 last autumn.

Explaining my research method

Started with an internet search to find out the law regarding the
retirement age for judges.
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201012/ldselect/ldconst/272/27210.htm
above is a post-appointment issue on judges retirement
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2007-11-19e.165722.h
This is Hansard source of a parliamentary debate which was held on 19th
November 2007.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/law-obituaries/7315416/Lord-Denning-OM.html
above is a telegraph of a judge ( lord denning )who retired at the
age of 85.This is evidence to prove that some judges are capable and fit to
judge pass the age of 70.This website was last updated on Monday 01 January
2018.
 
 

Time taken

This research report took 4hours to complete.

Word count

1908