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Selection and Promotion of Judges – New Challenges

Comparative Politics
Elites
Institutions
Political Sociology
Candidate
Courts
Methods
Decision Making
P345
David Kosar
Masaryk University
Chris Hanretty
University of London, Royal Holloway College
Law and Courts

Friday 11:00 - 12:40 (08/09/2017)

Building: BL11 Harriet Holters hus Floor: 1 Room: HH 101

Abstract

Judges in current democratic societies assume many tasks, from striking down laws, through the formulation of normative rules in international and apex courts, to interaction with common public and the day-to-day pursuit of justice in cases of ordinary judiciaries. Because of these powers, decisions about judges’ careers have for long been understood as primary tools how powerful actors can influence individual judges, as well as courts or whole judiciaries through their composition. There is a vast amount of literature concerned with professional careers of judges and how they are selected (e.g. Haynes 2005, Russell & Malleson 2006, Volcansek 2007). With regard to promotion, the scholarship is not as rich, yet there are exceptions (Ramseyer & Rasmusen 1997, Hanretty 2015). What these processes share across different models is that they operate like funnels with several stages in which the number of candidates gradually decreases until one (or a few) are selected and eventually assume the office they were selected/promoted to. Three points can be raised in this regard. First, promotion remains understudied because much of the research has been conducted in common law countries, where promotion of judges is not as common. Second, there has been a focus on Supreme and Constitutional courts in the study of judges’ careers, leaving ordinary judiciaries out of sight. Third, there has been an emphasis, in the study of judicial selection and promotion, on processes rather than actors and their interactions. This panel aims to fill these gaps in the literature. Therefore, it focuses on selection and promotion of judges at international courts as well as domestic ones, at all levels of respective judicial systems applying both qualitative and quantitative methods. The panel looks at both national and supranational courts and, among other things, attempts to identify the shared characteristics of successful candidates and how these characteristics differ between countries, selectors’ preferences about future judges and how they are formed, and factors influencing selectors’ willingness to impose these preference over the selection and promotion processes. The papers also theorize about relationship between the selection and promotion processes and political variables (such as democratic consolidation or political competition), explore the role of social and cultural capital in these processes; or analyse these processes in terms of public confidence or legitimacy.

Title Details
The Effect of Political Preferences among CJEU Judges and their Appointing Governments View Paper Details
Politics Behind the Appointment of Justices to the Czech Constitutional Court View Paper Details
Simulating Justices: Career Trajectory and the High Court of Australia View Paper Details
Promotion to Higher Courts and Court Presidency in the Slovak Judiciary View Paper Details