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Effects of Lack of Diversity on the Impartiality of the Judicial Officers - Essay Example

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Effects of Lack of Diversity on the Impartiality of the Judicial Officers Name: Course name: Course instructor: Date: Outline i. Introduction ii. The Judiciary in England and Wales as It Is iii. Challenges of Independence and Impartiality of the Judiciary iv…
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Effects of Lack of Diversity on the Impartiality of the Judicial Officers
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Download file to see previous pages This is echoed by Article 6, paragraph 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Such a right to an independent and impartial tribunal contains both objective and subjective elements. The objective element entails separation of powers within the constitutional structure of the country. The subjective element entails avoidance by the tribunal of any semblance of dependence. Consequently, the members of the tribunal should avoid any act, attitude or comment which may lead to doubts among litigants as to the independence of the tribunal. Such avoidance is also part of the necessary impartiality of the judiciary.1 The Judiciary in England and Wales as It Is It has been observed that a judiciary that does not reflect society‘s diversity will ultimately lose the confidence of that society. Such is the replication of England‘s judiciary which has earned the decription of “pale, male and stale” to mean a white, male-dominated bench. This is backed by the fact that women and ethnic minorities are barely represented in the judiciary despite relentless efforts for more diversity in judicial appointments. For instance, Baroness Brenda Hale is the only female justice out of the 12 places in the Supreme Court of England.2 In similar breath, Rabinder Singh became the first Sikh, a non-white, to be appointed a High Court judge of England and Wales.3 This is happening in the midst of heated debates as to how and when to strike a balance between diversity and judicial selections based on merit. Such is the argument of the President of the Supreme Court, Lord Phillips, who favours judicial appointments based on merit over diversification. However, this school of thought has faced strong opposition with some arguing that merit is a non-issue or better yet an excuse not to effect judicial diversity speedily.4 Consequently, the lone-rangers in the judiciary such as Hale have called for more women and ethnic minority judges in the courts. She further terms the lack of diversity on the Bench to be a constitutional issue. While addressing the House of Lords Constitution Committee, Hale argued that judicial officers would approach issues differently based on their background, and that a lack of diversity could also change the substantive results of cases. Therefore, as such resistance to diversity among judges is considered to be misguided. She in turn suggests that some cases require diversity of perspectives and life experiences in order to get the best results. A case in point is in child-birth and rape matters where she suggests that the gender of justices would matter in how the cases are determined. Challenges of Independence and Impartiality of the Judiciary Judges are subjected to various kinds of pressure aimed at compromising their ability to dispense justice in an impartial and independent manner. For instance, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary is compromised when they are appointed by the Executive or Legislature or even where they are elected. This is further exacerbated by lack of tenure where they are employed on temporary contracts and are poorly paid thus they become susceptible to corruption they may also be publicly be criticised by the other arms of government in order to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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