“#Judges: Overworked and miserable”

This was an article headline in The Lawyer on 27 April 2015, and maybe this links somewhat to my blog post recently about lawyers and their working conditions (http://wp.me/p4pPCf-gn)

Apparently four more judges will step down soon, which is allegedly raising awkward questions about the system.

When the news broke that the Court of Appeal were looking for four new judges, it created something of a stir on twitter, even amongst one of the UK’s top silks who is on twitter.

Dinah Rose QC (from Blackstone Chambers’) tweeted that in her experience, appeals justices “look exhausted and appear to be over-worked and miserable”, “working conditions are poor”, “lack of support” and “no further promotion possible”.

So are these the real reasons for why the judges believe they have poor working conditions, rather than salary perhaps? I do want to know what poor working conditions they have as I am genuinely intrigued, and it would give me a far better perspective on life as a judge.

The names of the departing judges (and perhaps those who are moving on before the retirement age of 75) will be revealed in the Autumn, and it is not until then that we will be aware of how many choose to depart early from their role.

Early retirement is normally quite uncommon for those at the top of the judiciary but this notion has been on the rise for the past decade.

Some of the reasons include; “pressure on judges, pay caps, lack of pension arrangements and isolation”, and these are all concerns which have been highlighted for the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).

I will keep you posted on this as the year goes on, but this clearly needs some addressing as the top of the judiciary play a fundamental role in our legal system!

Rebecca x

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