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How Judges are Appointed across the Globe

Once again there is a daggers dawn between President Asif Ali Zardari and Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary, the Chief Justice of Pakistan about the judges’ appointment in the country.

In most of the countries, for the appointment of judges in the constitutional courts, the judges of the sitting court have the final say.

In the United States, the choice of President does not work always. Although the President has power given by Constitution to appoint the justices by taking and with Senate’s advice and consent, 12 Supreme Court nominees have been rejected in history.

In the United Kingdom, there is a Judicial Appointments Commission of 15 members which includes one Chairperson, one barrister, five judicial members, one solicitor, one tribunal chairman, five lay members, and one lay judge. By open competition, 12 Commissioners and the Chairperson is appointed and the Council of Judge selects the other three.

Regarding the appointment of judges, there is no role for British Premier or even to the Queen but there is for the Prime Minister and the British Lord Chancellor.  The Lord Chancellor has to consult with the Lord Chief Justice before issuing guidance for the performance by the commission.

In Canada, to select the judges the establishment of the National Judicial Appointment Commission has been done. It is so much independent in its working that it can even invite applications by public advertisement. The eligibility for an appointment is limited by the Canadian Supreme Court Act. Anyone can be eligible who has spent more than 10 years being a member of the bar or been judges of a superior court. 75 years of age is the maximum age of a Supreme Court justice to sit on the bench.

In South Africa, there is a more independent appointment process that was possible by the deep attention of the Judicial Service Commission. It has 23 members who are drawn from the national and regional legislatures, the judiciary, the executive, academia and civil society. There used to have maximum transparency on the appointment process.

In Israel, the judges for all levels of court are selected by the nine-member commission which consists the president of the Supreme Court, the Minister of Justice (Attorney General), two Supreme Court Judges, Cabinet Minister, two representatives of the Israel Bar and two members of the Legislature.

In Australia, the judges of the higher court are appointed by the Governor-General in Council. The judge of higher court can’t be removed except the misbehavior or incapacity is proven.

There are different methods and techniques used while appointing the judge of the high court. There is not a pattern or rule to select him. The rules are made according to the situation. Let’s see how the daggers dawn between President Asif Ali Zardari and Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary will be solved.

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