Will not the right hon. and learned Gentleman accept that there are judges over the age of 80 whose judgments are so regularly eccentric and so idiosyncratically out of touch with modern views that they are constantly having to be overturned at a higher level? Does he not agree that geriatric judges with nineteenth-century social ad political prejudice only bring the rule of law into disrepute? It is reasonable that an age limit of 70 should be imposed.
He reached his eighty-second birthday last week and I would like to congratulate him on it. It is not for me to comment on individual decisions, some of which may be subject to appeal. In 1959 Parliament decided that a statutory retirement age for judges should be imposed. At the same time, Parliament did not impose that upon those who were already appointed judges.
I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman would be the first to complain if his contract were altered after he had signed it and had acted under it for a period of time. That is what would happen here. Parliament in 1959 decided not to affect the contracts of those who were already appointed.