Pubblicato in: Giustizia

Regno Unito. Suprema Corte deve rimpiazzare tre giudici.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-02-20.

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Non solo gli Stati Uniti hanno il problema di sostituire i giudici della Corte Suprema.

Mentre però negli Stati Uniti i giudici della Corte Suprema sono nominati dal Presidente e la loro nomina deve essere ratificata dal Congresso con il 60% dei voti assoluti, nel Regno Unito la procedura è differente.

Essere differente non significa altro che segue una tradizione nazionale secolare, ma riadattata alle esigenze dei tempi.

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«The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population.» [The Supreme Court]

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«Judicial vacancies.

President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Closing date for applications for both competitions is 12.00 noon on 10 March 2017

Following the announcement by the current President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, of his retirement next summer and the vacancies caused by the retirements of Lord Toulson and Lord Clarke, applications are sought for the appointment of a new President and two, possibly three, Justices. Ideally appointments would take effect on 2 October 2017.

The UK Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council hear a wide range of very complex and high profile legal appeals, which can have considerable impact across the United Kingdom and beyond. The withdrawal of the UK from the EU makes this a particularly important time at which to lead the Court as President or to be appointed a Justice. For all appointments the ad hoc selection commissions, appointed under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, are looking for people of outstanding intellectual and legal ability, with the ability to work efficiently and effectively as a judge in and out of Court, for example in the writing of excellent judgments, working well with colleagues and representing the UKSC and JCPC externally. Candidates will need to demonstrate social awareness and understanding of the impact of law on society, together with an appreciation of the developing nature of the constitution and law in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The President of the Supreme Court is the highest UK judicial office and has a national and international profile. For this appointment, the commission is seeking someone not only with truly exceptional legal understanding, stature and expertise but also with the communication and leadership skills to lead the Court through an increasingly complex judicial and constitutional environment. Essential to the role are outstanding leadership skills which inspire confidence within the Court, the judiciary of the UK and internationally, the legal profession, Parliament, Government and the wider public.

The statutory minimum qualification for all appointments advertised is to have held high judicial office for a period of at least two years, to have satisfied the judicial appointment eligibility condition on a 15-year basis or to have been a qualifying practitioner for at least 15 years. In making its recommendation the selection commissions will have regard to the requirements of the Act that a selection must be on merit, and that the commission must “ensure that between them the Judges will have knowledge of, and experience of practice in, the law of each part of the United Kingdom.”

The selection commission invites applications from eligible candidates who fulfil one of the above statutory requirements and can evidence their suitability. Applications are sought from a wide range of candidates and particularly those who will increase the diversity of the Court. A single application form is available for completion for either or both of the roles of President and Justice.

Please contact Grainne Hawkins (grainne.hawkins@supremecourt.uk tel: 020 7960 1906) for an application form.

The closing date for applications for both competitions is 12.00 noon on 10 March 2017.» [The Supreme Court. Judicial Vacancies]

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«Much of the selection process is set out in statute, namely the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013).

In short, the steps undertaken by the independent selection commissions (once convened by the Lord Chancellor) are:

    Consultation with the Lord Chancellor on the positions to be advertised and the process of selection

    Vacancies are advertised, with candidates invited to submit a personal statement, examples of work and details of referees. The basic eligibility criteria are set by Parliament.

    The statute also requires that the Lord Chancellor, the First Minister in Scotland, the First Minister in Wales, the Judicial Appointments Commission in Northern Ireland and senior judges across the UK are consulted as part of the selection process.

    Candidates are shortlisted and interviewed by the panels. Under changes introduced by the Crime and Courts Act 2013, where two candidates are deemed to be of equal merit, the commission can give preference to one candidate over the other for the purpose of increasing diversity within the Court.

    After interviews, a report is sent to the Lord Chancellor for her consideration. There is another round of consultation with the senior politicians and judges. The Lord Chancellor then accepts the recommendation(s), or can reject it, or ask the commission to reconsider.

    When the Lord Chancellor accepts a recommendation, the name is notified to the Prime Minister and HM The Queen. Candidates are informed of the outcome, and the Prime Minister’s Office then makes an announcement.» [The Supreme Court. Judicial Vacancies]

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La Corte Suprema del Regno Unito si differenzia da quella americana perché i giudici restano in carica fino al settantesimo anno di età.

La corte opera secondo regole che ricalcano quelle già operanti per la House of Lords.

«We [judges] were certainly not well treated. One has to be careful about being critical of the press, particularly as a lawyer or judge, because our view of life is very different from that of the media. I think some of what was said was undermining the rule of law»

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«At the tribunal level, the courts are more diverse. Some 45% of judges are women and 10% are black or ethnic minority, compared to around 14% of England and Wales. But representation shrinks at the high court level, where slightly over one in five judges are women and one in 20 are black or ethnic minority. There are nine female court of appeal judges – 23% of the total. None of the 39 court of appeal judges is black or ethnic minority, according to the lord chief justice’s most recent diversity statistics».

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A nostro personale parere, il valore di un giudice di Corte Suprema non dovrebbe essere valutato dal colore della pelle, né dall’etnia, né dalla religione, né tanto meno dal sesso.

Al giudice si richiede di conoscere ed applicare la legge, non di inventarsela, e di essere imparziale.

Sufficit.


The Guardian. 2017-02-17. Supreme court seeks new judges who will ‘improve its diversity’

The supreme court began its search for three new judges on Thursday, seeking members who will “improve the diversity of the court”.

Of the court’s 11 current members, 10 are men and all are white. Just two were not privately educated. On Thursday, the court’s president Lord Neuberger said he and his colleagues want that to change. “What we are looking for is to recruit on the basis that the court becomes more diverse,” he said.

He also spoke out about media attacks on the judges in the wake of November’s high court decision on the Brexit case: “We [judges] were certainly not well treated. One has to be careful about being critical of the press, particularly as a lawyer or judge, because our view of life is very different from that of the media. I think some of what was said was undermining the rule of law.”

Neuberger is retiring in September, along with fellow supreme court judge Lord Clarke. The court is also recruiting for a replacement for Lord Toulson, who retired last year. Next year two more judges will retire, suggesting that the court’s makeup could substantially change.

“We are a fantastically diverse society and it must be right that when society looks at the most senior members of the judiciary it sees that it reflects the society of which we’re part,” Robert Bourn, president of the Law Society, told the Guardian.

“There’s a real opportunity to make a change,” said Sam Mercer, head of equality and diversity at the Bar Council. “The judiciary has got to reflect the people it’s working for. To have any legitimacy we need to have more women and more ethnic minorities, particularly at the senior ranks.”

At the tribunal level, the courts are more diverse. Some 45% of judges are women and 10% are black or ethnic minority, compared to around 14% of England and Wales. But representation shrinks at the high court level, where slightly over one in five judges are women and one in 20 are black or ethnic minority. There are nine female court of appeal judges – 23% of the total. None of the 39 court of appeal judges is black or ethnic minority, according to the lord chief justice’s most recent diversity statistics.

“When you look at the top, it really does look horribly male and horribly white,” said Mercer.

Lord Sumption, who joined the supreme court in 2012, suggested in 2015 it would take 50 years to achieve gender equality at the top of the judiciary. He told the Evening Standard: “We have got to be very careful not to do things at a speed which will make male candidates feel that the cards are stacked against them.”

Possible candidates include Lady Justice Hallett, who chaired the inquest into those killed in the 7/7 attacks, her fellow court of appeal judge Lady Gloster, and high court judge Rubinder Singh. But those weighing up whether to apply for the supreme court bench will also be watching the lord chief justice, Lord Thomas, who is expected to announce his retirement.

In an effort to widen the pool of candidates, the supreme court has contacted groups such as the Black Solicitors Network, the Association of Women Barristers and legal academics’ groups to try and encourage people from beyond the top ranks of the judiciary to apply.

The selection commissions will even consider applications for part-time judges, although given the nature of the roles, hearing detailed legal arguments on the most complicated cases, part-time work is more likely to be in the form of taking periods of time off rather than a reduced timetable.

“There’s an awful lot to do with confidence on the part of candidates … it’s about recognising that what they’ve done to date would put them in a good position to apply,” said Bourn. Solicitors, especially, should “have the confidence to recognise that what they do is a form of exercising judgment and then to recognise that therefore they do have the intellectual capacity and the ability to do this job.”

But there are significant barriers to women in reaching the top of the legal profession, said Mercer. Combining motherhood with work as a barrister, most of whom are self-employed, is especially challenging. “It can’t be particularly flexible if you’ve got court-based practice. As a profession, it’s very, very hard to shift the dial … All the obvious barriers have been tackled.”

Christine Kings, director of Outer Temple Chambers and vice chair of the Legal Action Group, said: “There aren’t as many women applying to be QCs, and there’s a separate investigation going on as to why that is.” If women are to reach the top in greater numbers, they will need more support for example with taking career breaks, she added.

But there are “lots of really top-class brains” the court could choose from if seeking to hire women, Kings added. The reason the bench is so male may be “it’s always been men and the people involved in selections have always been men – and as in other walks of life, if it’s always been men and they’ve always been like that, why change it?”

This time, though, the focus is different. “I would be shocked if it was three men appointed,” she said.

The legal profession has done “quite well” on recruiting and promoting ethnic minority people, said Mercer. “We need to question the assumption it’s just going to fix itself in 20 years … We need to find out why the judiciary isn’t recruiting enough ethnic minorities.”

Kings said: “I suspect that when it comes to the supreme court selection there are the same problems as with women: they are not on the radar.”

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