Constitutional Reform Act Essay

Constitutional Reform Act Essay-32
This hierarchy of courts is important in ensuring the administration of justice functions effectively within the court system and in particular in relation to public law.

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The Queen, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, appoints High Court judges; this is the same for circuit judges and recorders.

There are of course minimum requirements for judges to be qualified to take such a role.

Since the Courts and Legal Service Act 1990, solicitors with rights of audience in the High Court and barristers' of ten years call or more as well as circuit judges of two years' standing can be appointed as High Court judges.

Since the 1990 Act, candidates for appointment as Lord Justice of Appeal in the Court of Appeal must have at least 10 years standing as a barrister, or a solicitor with rights of audience in the High Court.

Parliament is not the only body that makes laws, since administrative bodies pass a wide range of secondary legislation.

The courts do; however, also contribute to the law-making enterprise in two ways: Are these functions of judicial law making compatible with the separation of powers doctrine which states that the legislative and hence law-making function rests with Parliament.

Furthermore, the courts’ law-making powers are usually quite limited.

Similarly in creating common law, courts are restricted by past precedent. Shortly after this decision, Parliament enacted the Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Act 2008.

It is always open to Parliament to legislate when courts make decisions that the Executive does not feel is in line with Government policy. As unelected judges the courts are not subject to the democratic selection by the public, and hence the separation of powers doctrine requires that there are significant limits on the courts' law making powers.

This has been made clear by the courts themselves, when they have refused to rule on a particular question stating that a particular matter requires an Act of Parliament to make changes to the law.


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