Judicial appointments

The ‘modernising’ of the judiciary by politicians, and their insistence judges be cosy with senior civil servants, undermines a centuries-old institution

‘To protect the priceless asset of judicial independence, we need to take great care over the way we choose our judges’

I was delighted to see that Michael Supperstone QC, a friend since my university days (1968-71), was recently appointed a High Court judge. But, despite what Downing Street believes, he was not a circuit judge before he joined the High Court.

Jack Straw risks losing what little respect he has among family judges and lawyers unless he ensures that Sir Nicholas Wall is named as president of the High Court family division before Easter.

Extraordinary scenes in the Lords yesterday when peers complained about Jack Straw’s decision to block the appointment of Lord Justice Wall as president of the High Court Family Division. 

The Ministry of Justice announced today that it would be “delivering” £343 million of savings. So what’s for the chop?

In The Times today, Frances Gibb reports that Jack Straw has blocked the appointment of Lord Justice Wall as president of the High Court family division. This ties in with my own report a month ago that the Judicial Appointments Commission was having difficulties in filling the post.

Baroness Prashar has written a response in the Law Society Gazette to my criticism of the Judicial Appointments Commission, which she chairs. Some people, she says accusingly, “are beginning to crave the old system of ‘tap on the shoulder'”. But Lady Prashar appears to be one of them.

Why is there so little interest in who is appointed to our Supreme Court? That’s the subject of today’s column in the Law Society Gazette,