Judicial Independence: Some Evidence from the English Court of Appeal
This paper is concerned with the existence or otherwise of conscious political interference with judicial decision taking. We produce new evidence from the English Court of Appeal to shed some light on the theoretical debate on judicial independence. This evidence rests on the fact that the procedure for promoting judges from the Court of Appeal to the House of Lords is in principle under political control: the lord chancellor, who has a key role in the promotion of judges, is a member of the cabinet and as such a political appointee. The data relate to public law decisions made by judges in the Court of Appeal over the period 1951-86. We use a competing risks survival model to establish whether the record of individual judges in deciding for or against the government was a factor that determined their promotion chances, controlling for the quality of their decision making. Copyright 1999 by the University of Chicago.
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