Publication details

Recruiting European Judges in the Age of Judicial Self-Government

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SPÁČ Samuel

Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source German Law Journal
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Web Open access časopisu
Keywords judicial self-government; judges; selection; recruitment; judicial independence
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Description Through the recruitment of judges – their selection and subsequent appointment – powerful actors control who enters the judicial ranks and under what circumstances. In this paper I address how are European judges recruited using examples from ten European countries, while paying special attention to the role of the judicial self-government in these processes. Indeed, there are differences between recruitment processes across Europe. In some countries, a central role in the judicial recruitment is played by judicial schools; elsewhere crucial powers belong to judicial councils and/or other bodies of judicial self-government; in the UK or Ireland some of these powers were vested in the hands of specialized bodies; whereas in other countries the process remains less formal with crucial powers resting in the hands of court presidents. Despite these differences, I choose to emphasize similarities recruitment processes share. They operate as funnels where the pool of candidates gradually decreases until only one (or few) remains and is eventually appointed. In order to assume judicial office one usually must (a) meet eligibility criteria, (b) get on selector’s radar to be actively considered for the position, (c) get shortlisted for the position, (d) get selected, and (e) eventually appointed. Dividing the recruitment process into these stages, while paying attention to motivations of all involved actors, can help deepen our understanding of how judicial recruitment actually works and how formal and informal rules together shape the composition of judiciaries.
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