Judicial appointments

 

Sir, – In the debate about judicial appointments, their quality and the salaries on offer, law academics continue to be overlooked as a cohort of potential appointees. The statutory requirement that judges must be practising barristers or solicitors rules out academics who teach and research in law but have not practised it in the courts. Apparently it remains radical to suggest that a person with 20 or 30 years of experience as a scholar of law in a university might bring useful expertise and insights to bear on judging. It has been pointed out before (by academics, naturally) that a knowledge of court procedure is significantly less important in the higher, appellate courts, where the focus is on analysing issues of substantive law in detail rather than on presiding over first instance cases. Judicial training could demystify court procedure if necessary. Furthermore, the salaries on offer would not be such a shock to academics, who are already public servants. – Yours, etc,

MARK COEN,

Sutherland School of Law,

University College Dublin,

Belfield,

Dublin 4.