Judges: Accountability

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 17th March 2020.

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Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Judges must be free to make their judicial decisions without being subject to interference by Parliament or the executive. Judicial independence is fundamental to the rule of law and the effective operation of our democracy. To protect the rule of law, the main form of accountability is through right of appeal to a higher court. The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office support the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor in their responsibility for considering and determining complaints about the personal conduct of all judges in England and Wales.

I am fully confident in the competence of our judiciary. Judges are selected following a transparent, rigorous, independent, merit based process which is key to maintaining the quality, integrity and independence of our world class judiciary. The Lord Chief Justice and Senior President of Tribunals require judges to attend induction training before sitting and thereafter attend continuation training. There are a range of appraisal schemes across the courts and tribunals judiciary.

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