To What Extent Are Judges in Britain Independent and Neutral? Essay

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To what extent are judges in Britain independent and neutral? UK judges to a very great extent are both independent and neutral. Neutrality and independence can appear similar, however, independence means that the judiciary are free from political pressure, whereas neutrality means that the judges are free of bias themselves. Firstly, Constitutional Reform Act 2005 fixed most problems, which were a threat to independence and a cause of bias judgments. Judicial appointments commission- considers wider range of candidates now, therefore there’ are more judges from different social background and more woman are able to hold the position of a judge. Several successive ‘liberal minded’ judges have taken up senior positions, therefore the decisions of judges would be more neutral and independent as people from social background as well as different gender give wider opinion on any case as well as “liberal minded” judges would criticise the government and defend civil liberty better than judges from a very narrow conservative background, which might be bias towards government. For example, Lords Woolf, Hoffman and Bingham are all judges that are quick to criticise the government and defend civil liberty. Lord Chancellor had been removed from judicial function and now is just secretary of state for Ministry of Justice. These means that judiciary are more independent now as Lord Chancellor who is a member of government and therefore can be bias towards government on some cases can’t be one of the very senior judges as he used to sit as a judge in the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords before the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 Establishment of Supreme Court 2009 and abolishment of the appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords, because of that jurisdiction became independent from House of Lords and therefore the decisions are more neutral as Supreme

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