Why French remains the prime target for Terrorist

  1. Bad foreign Policy: this goes far back to 1830 the imperial era when france conqured Algeria and it resulted in bloody Algerian war from 1954-62, and the reparation that Harki’s had to face which resulted in exodus of many Muslims to France .
  2. Intervension: Unlike other colonist power French never left the land of its colonies and eventually tried to muddle in the political,economical and military affairs to defend French national interest without any endgame from mali to algeria crossing libya and Syria See: operation Barakhane and Operation_Serval
  3.  Anti-Islamic measures: Symbolic measure against Muslims like banning naqab or face covering has fuelled resentment against French authorities and spawned new grounds of terror.See:banning face covering
  4. Anti-immigrants :  the banlieues, are the suburbs dominated by Muslims,foreigns migrants and French of foreign descent , often in perceived poverty traps and has become pejorative to them, it is sometime  considered  as “Another France” this kind of neglect is a breeding ground for anti-state elements.
  5. Internal religious conflicts : the Dreyfus affair pitted an openly anti-Semitic Catholic establishment against pro-Republican intellectuals during the 19th century.
  6. Charlie Hebdo case: A strong tradition of opposition to organised religion and satire of its pretention by mocking the beliefs has added fuel to the fire.

Sources:

http://time.com/3660002/france-muslim-africa-organized-religion/

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/welcome-frances-new-war-terror-africa-operation-barkhane-11029

china’s currency devaluation

http://www.wsj.com/articles/devaluation-strengthens-chinas-hand-at-imf-1441226171

http://www.wsj.com/articles/imf-to-brighten-view-of-chinas-yuan-1430697814

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/12/china-markets-yuan-imf-idUSL1N10N1SJ20150812

http://www.examiner.com/article/imf-s-denial-of-china-into-sdr-will-lead-to-yuan-ending-dollar-domination-sooner

http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-agrees-to-limit-currency-moves-u-s-treasury-secretary-says-1435184347

Suez Crisis

Suez Crisis: It was the Struggle between Anglo-French and Egypt forces over the control of Suez Canal in 1956.

Events that led to suez crisis:

1.Nationalization of suez canal:  the leader of Egypt NAsser  passed a resolution to nationalize the suez canal.britain still delusional in the imperialism era saw it as a threat to its prestige.

2. Anglo-Egypt treaty of 1936: This treaty give control of Suez canal to Britain and allow britain intervension in event of crisis,this treaty was repealed by Nasser’s govt which infuriated Britain.

3. Secret Pact : Britain and French made a secret pact with Israel and persuaded it to attact the Sinai peninsula of Egypt providing their full support.Israel haunted by the six Arab army decided to go for it for its existence in the Arab world.

4. wave of Nationalism : The wave of nationalism was flowing from carribean to malay.India had already got Independence thwarting britain’s rule this led to eascalation of crisis.

5.Economic Interest: To save its economic interest Britain decided to invade Egypt which was its strategic route for oil from middle east and thus made britain to intervene.

How it proved to be Self-destructing stint:

1.US President Eisenhower was incensed and as US was always opposed to imperialism condemned the move by Britain and French forces so with help of UN peace keeping forces it ordered the military to halt and have an armistice,this was blow to britain who was now getting orders from new power in the neighbour.

2.The cold war was on its brink so Russia had strategic interest in the region so it forced Britan to halt so that Russia would not get involved in the war.

3.The war had  cost French its ecomomic fall which was already waging a parallel war in Algeria its former colony.Britain economy too was falling and US had declared ‘no ceasefire,no loan’ to britain.so the economic crisis was a final straw in Britains back.

4. The move made by Briting pm Anthony Eden. suffered a political backlash many Right wings as well as some minister in govenment resigned for the policies that he had adopted.

The new masters and commanders(China)

FROM the ground, Colombo’s port does not look like much. Those entering it are greeted by wire fences, walls dating back to colonial times and security posts. For mariners leaving the port after lonely nights on the high seas, the delights of the B52 Night Club and Stallion Pub lie a stumble away. But viewed from high up in one of the growing number of skyscrapers in Sri Lanka’s capital, it is clear that something extraordinary is happening: China is creating a shipping hub just 200 miles from India’s southern tip.

The old port is cramped and stuffed full of containers. To its left, a vast new breakwater curves into the ocean. Alongside it a Chinese ship has just delivered three giant Chinese cranes (see picture) to a new container terminal built by a Chinese company and run by an entity controlled by another Chinese firm. The terminal opens in July and will be complete in April 2014. The old port took centuries to reach its present capacity. China will have almost doubled it in under 30 months. Operated at full capacity, it would make Colombo one of the world’s 20 biggest container ports.

This development has split opinion in Sri Lanka. At a gathering of Colombo’s old salts, the mood is optimistic. Tales of Chinese domination are “just scaremongering” says one captain. The port will push Colombo into the big league, says the boss of a repair yard. A few are nervous, though. The Chinese have a hidden agenda, says someone close to the ports authority.

For India’s hawks, there is no ambiguity. The port is part of a Chinese plot. Colombo is a “transhipment” hub for India: big ships unload containers there and feeder boats take these to India’s often crummy ports. About 13% of India’s container traffic travels via Colombo. If the new terminal ran at full capacity and dedicated itself to transhipping containers to India, that could rise to 28%, leaving the country dependent on a foreign-run choke point.

Worse, critics argue, Sri Lanka has become ever chummier with China since the end of its civil war in 2009. On May 29th Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president, met Li Keqiang, China’s premier, in Beijing. Loans and declarations of “profound friendship” were secured. China is also developing roads, airports and another port, Hambantota, on Sri Lanka’s south coast. Chinese warships have stopped at Colombo on the way to Pakistan and to anti-pirate operations in the Gulf of Aden.

In the eyes of some Indians, Colombo is part of a “string of pearls”—an American-coined phrase that suggests the deliberate construction of a network of Chinese built, owned or influenced ports that could threaten India. These include a facility in Gwadar and a port in Karachi (both in Pakistan); a container facility in Chittagong (Bangladesh); and ports in Myanmar.

Is this string theory convincing? Even if the policy exists, it might not work. Were China able to somehow turn ports into naval bases, it might struggle to keep control of a series of Gibraltars so far from home. And host countries have mood swings. Since Myanmar opened up in 2012, China’s influence there has decreased. China love-bombed the Seychelles and Mauritius with presidential visits in 2007 and 2009 respectively. But since then India has successfully buttered up these island states and reasserted its role in the Maldives. Besides, China’s main motive may be commerce. C. Raja Mohan, the author of “Samudra Manthan”, a book on Sino-Indian rivalry in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, argues that China’s port bases partly reflect a desire to get easier sea access for trade to and from west China.

A load of old rope

State-owned firms are in charge of most of China’s maritime activity, and their motives are at least partly commercial. There is certainly not much talk of invading India in the offices of Tissa Wickramasinghe, the general manager of CICT, the firm that runs Colombo’s new terminal. It is 85% owned by China Merchants Holdings International, a Hong Kong firm that is ultimately controlled by China’s government.

Mr Wickramasinghe says the port aims to take advantage of a new global pattern of trade. Trade by poor countries will rise. More containers will be used (only 22% of Indian cargo is containerised—half the world average). The shipping corridors between East Asia, Europe and Africa will get even busier. A new generation of huge ships that are almost half a kilometre long will dominate them. The ports that service these vessels will prosper.

China’s maritime interests already reflect its status as the world’s largest exporter and second-largest importer. Many of the world’s biggest container ports are in China. It controls a fifth of the world’s container fleet mainly through giant state-owned lines. By weight, 41% of ships built in 2012 were made in China.

Japanese and Korean firms built a presence in Californian ports in the 1980s and 1990s. Now China’s muscle in trade and shipping is being mirrored in ports too. At first this was about building. China Harbour Engineering Company has constructed projects around the world. In 2012 its state-controlled parent firm had orders of $12 billion for construction deals abroad.

The next step is to own and run ports (see map). Hutchison Whampoa, a buccaneering, privately owned Hong Kong conglomerate, has long had a global network of ports. The pioneer among mainland firms was Cosco Pacific, an affiliate of state-owned Cosco, China’s biggest shipping line. In 2003-07 it took minority stakes in terminals in Antwerp, Suez and Singapore. In 2009 it took charge of half of Piraeus Port in Greece. It has invested about $1 billion abroad. China Merchants Holdings International, a newcomer, has spent double that. It invested in Nigeria, as well as Colombo, in 2010. Last year it took stakes in ports in Togo and Djibouti. In January it bought 49% of Terminal Link, a global portfolio of terminals run by CMA CGM, an indebted French container line.

The pace is quickening. In March another firm, China Shipping Terminal, bought a stake in a terminal in Zeebrugge in Belgium. On May 30th China Merchants struck a multi-billion deal to create a port in Tanzania. Even the more cautious Cosco Pacific is thinking about deals in South-East Asia and investing more in Greece.

What explains this surge in investment? The slowdown in trade has dulled prospects in China and lowered prices abroad from the heights of 2007-08, says Jonathan Beard of ICF GHK, a consultancy. The focus on Asia, Europe and Africa is partly because America may be out of bounds. China Shipping Terminal has small stakes in facilities in Seattle and Los Angeles, according to Drewry, a consultancy. But the experience of Dubai’s DP World suggests that America would not roll out a red carpet. In 2006 DP abandoned plans to buy American ports after a political backlash. Some Americans worry that China wants to take over the Panama canal.

Chinese firms may also subscribe to a supersized vision of the industry in which an elite group of ports caters to a new generation of mega-vessels. These will be more fuel-efficient and link Asia and Europe (they can just squeeze through the Suez Canal). After a decade of hype these behemoths are now afloat. In May CMA CGM received the Jules Verne, the world’s largest container ship. It can handle 16,000 containers and has a 16-metre (52-feet) draft. In July Maersk, a Danish line, will launch an 18,000-container monster. It has ordered 20 from Daewoo, in Korea. China Shipping Container Lines, the country’s second biggest firm, has just ordered five 18,400-container vessels from Hyundai.

Some ports may struggle to cater to these ships. Some of China’s new terminals may try to exploit that. Cosco Pacific is building a dock at Piraeus that can handle mega-ships. Colombo is deep enough for ships with an 18-metre draft. Its cranes can cope with ships 24 containers wide. Nothing in India compares with that.

Darling can’t you hear me, SOS

There are risks to China’s port strategy. The world economy may not recover quickly. Today’s slow growth lowers demand for containers. It also means many shipping lines are losing money, making them nervous about raising capacity by launching lots of new mega-ships. That in turn allows smaller ports to stay competitive.

The immediate outlook is tough for Colombo’s new terminal, in part because of India’s woes. India’s container traffic, having grown at a blistering pace, declined by 4% in April compared with the same month last year. “We never imagined this situation,” says an Indian port boss. Then there is competition. Vallarpadam, a port in the Indian state of Kerala owned by DP World, is only a third full. India’s bureaucrats have relaxed their fiddly rules to help it compete. Ports in Mumbai and Mundra, in west India, already get lots of direct calls from global lines. Other ports such as Chennai are slowly winning more, too.

The age of the mega-ship might secure Colombo’s position, but it is some way off. The initial schedules for the new Maersk and CMA CGM vessels do not include stops in Colombo. Local agents hope other lines will try the port this year. Some expect that patriotic Chinese shipping lines will shift their business to Colombo from other big Asian ports. But that is a stretch. They are losing money and may not want to subsidise Sri Lanka. In 2012 Aitken Spence, a local firm, sold its stake in Colombo’s new terminal, arguing that it was not profitable. Some reckon it will take 15 years for it to break even.

Yet the port industry is about strong nerves. Eventually a recovery will materialise. In fact, the long-term challenge for China’s port operators may be commercial success. If they do create hubs for other countries, these firms’ association—unfairly, or otherwise—with China’s strategic interests will be a liability. Colombo is an example. India’s security grumbles are partly posturing. China is its biggest trading partner, and India’s main state-owned shipping firm gets its vessels repaired in China. But should Sri Lanka ever succeed in dominating India’s trade while being a close Chinese ally, India would surely improve its ports enough to be independent.

Experiences elsewhere offer no clear-cut guide. After political tensions in the South China Sea, China Merchants has withdrawn from a port project in Vietnam. But Cosco’s Piraeus investment, once controversial, is a success, with profits rising and the firm winning plaudits for investing and creating jobs for Greeks.

China’s port strategy is mainly motivated by commercial impulses. It is natural that a country of its clout has a global shipping and ports industry. But it could become a flashpoint for diplomatic tensions. That is the pessimistic view. The optimistic one is that the more it invests, the more incentive China has to rub along better with its trading partners. This, not deliberate expansionism, is what the locals are betting on in Colombo.

read more: chathamhouse.org

Judicial Appointments Practice In Selected Overseas Countries

  1. This Appendix identifies key features of judicial appointment commissions in selected overseas countries. It begins with developments in the United Kingdom and constituent nations, and then looks at certain continental European countries, North America, Australia, Israel and South Africa.

The United Kingdom

Background

  1. In June 2003, the British Government announced a series of constitutional reforms, including the creation of a new Supreme Court and the establishment of a judicial appointments commission for England and Wales. A series of public consultation papers were then released on these and related constitutional reforms. 31 Later a summary of responses and the individual submissions were released. 32 On 24 February 2004, the Constitutional Reform Bill,33 which included proposals for judicial appointments, was introduced into the House of Lords.

The United Kingdom Supreme Court

Appointment Commission

  1. The Commission will comprise the President and Deputy President of the Supreme Court, and one representative from each of the proposed Judicial Appointments Commission for England and Wales, the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission. 34
  2. The Commission prepares a list of suitable candidates, having regard to prescribed criteria in regulations, and must consult senior judges. 35 The Commission forwards the list of between two and five candidates for each vacancy to the Minister 36 with any comments they consider appropriate.
  3. The Minister must, in turn, consult the senior judges, the First Minister in Scotland, the National Assembly in Wales, and the First Minister and deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland. After considering the advice, the Minister decides which of the listed candidates is most suitable for appointment and notifies the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister must then recommend that Her Majesty appoint the named candidate as a Justice of the Supreme Court.

Proposed Judicial Appointments Commission for England and Wales 37

The Constitutional Reform Bill

  1. The Constitutional Reform Bill proposes the establishment of a (separate) Judicial Appointments Commission for England and Wales. Part 3 sets out the provisions for Judicial Appointments and Discipline. Clauses 49-82 and Schedules 10-12 set out the relevant provisions (including for a Judicial Appointments Commission).

Membership

  1. The Commission will comprise 15 members, appointed by The Queen on the recommendation of the Minister. The members will be drawn from the judiciary, legal professional and lay community, as follows:
  • 5 judicial members, after the Minister has consulted the Judges’ Council.
  • 2 professional legal members – a practising barrister and a practising solicitor, from England and Wales, after consultation with the General Council of the Bar and the Law Society.
  • 6 lay members, resident in the United Kingdom, who have never held a listed judicial office or been a practising lawyer. (At least one lay member should have a special knowledge of Wales.)
  • 1 member (drawn from a list – identified in the Bill – of members of tribunals and other similar office holders appointed by the Minister).
  • 1 lay justice.
  1. The six lay members and the one lay justice will be appointed following consultation with an advisory panel comprising:
  • one member (the panel’s chairperson) who has never been a Commissioner or on the staff of the Commission, a civil servant or member of Parliament, or held any judicial office, or been a practising lawyer.
  • the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
  • the Chairperson of the Commission (or when that position is vacant or the Commission Chair is being appointed, a person nominated by the panel’s chair).
  1. The Minister may, by order, amend the number of Commission members, but may not reduce the total number to less than 15, or the total number in any specified category to less than the specified number. Before making the order the Minister must consult the Lord Chief Justice.
  2. One of the lay members will be appointed as Chairperson by the Queen on the recommendation of the Minister. A person may not be appointed Chairperson for more than two terms.
  3. Commissioners are appointed for a fixed term, not exceeding five years at a time, and may not serve for more than 10 years in total, whether or not in consecutive terms. Commissioners only hold office while they retain the status or office held when first appointed. However, if they cease to hold that office, the Minister may direct that the Commissioner continue for a specified period.

Appointment process

  1. Candidates selected by the Commission for judicial appointment must be of good character and selection must be on merit. After consulting the Lord Chief Justice for England and Wales, the Minister may, by order, specify considerations to be taken into account in assessing merit, however it is for the selecting body to determine the relative weight of such considerations and what other matters it should take into account. Any Ministerial order will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure in Parliament.
  2. The Minister may issue guidelines the Commission on the exercise of its functions. The guidance is not binding and cannot override the statutory requirements.
  3. The Judicial Appointments Commission will be responsible for the process of selecting judges for appointment in England and Wales, and will make recommendations to the Minister. No one may be appointed to the offices listed in Schedule 12 to the Bill who has not been selected by the Commission. The Commission will recommend one candidate for each vacancy.
  4. The Minister will either appoint or recommend for appointment the selected candidate, or will have the ability to reject a candidate, once, and to ask the Commission to reconsider, once. If the Minister doesn’t accept a selected candidate, he or she must advise the Commission in writing of the reasons. Having exhausted these options, the Minister must appoint or recommend for appointment whichever candidate is selected. The Commission can resubmit the name of a selected candidate it has been asked to reconsider, but cannot resubmit the name of a rejected candidate. The Commission may select candidates who were rejected or reconsidered for subsequent vacancies.

Senior judicial appointments

  1. The Bill makes special provision for appointing the Lord Chief Justice, the Heads of Division and the Lords Justices of Appeal (i.e. Judges of the Court of Appeal). In these cases the Commission will establish a selection panel of four members, consisting of two senior judges (normally including the Lord Chief Justice) and two lay members (normally including the Chairperson) of the Commission. The panel is chaired by the senior Judge. No panel member can be considered for selection. The appointments of Lords Justices and above will continue to be made by The Queen formally on the advice of the Prime Minister after the Commission has made a recommendation to the Minister.

Other judicial appointments

  1. Schedule 12 lists in Part 1 judicial and tribunal appointments to the High Court and below which are formally made by The Queen; Part 2 lists appointments of judges made by the Minister; Part 3 lists appointments to tribunals and other similar appointments made by the Minister. None of these appointments may be made unless the Commission has selected the person concerned.
  2. The Minister can amend the Schedule by adding offices, subject to the affirmative resolution procedure in Parliament, and can remove or amend reference to an office, following its abolition or change of name, subject to the negative resolution procedure in Parliament.
  3. If the Minister wishes to recommend someone for appointment as a puisne High Court Judge, or to appoint or recommend someone for appointment to any of the offices listed in Schedule 12, he or she may request the Commission to select a person or (if there is more than one vacancy) persons. Before doing so he or she must consult the Lord Chief Justice. The Minister may also withdraw a request by providing formal written reasons to the Commission.
  4. The Commission determines and runs a selection process but must consult the Lord Chief Justice. If the selection process does not identify candidates of sufficient merit for appointment, the Commission cannot make a selection.
  5. After the selection process, the Commission must submit a report to the Minister which describes the process; names the person or people selected, or states if it has not been able to make a selection; states any recommendation by the Lord Chief Justice when consulted about the process (with reasons if the Commission has not followed the recommendation); and contains any other information required by the Minister.

Staff

  1. The Commission must appoint a Chief Executive who must be approved by the Minister. The Commission also appoints other staff on terms and conditions approved by the Minister. (Although not stated in the Bill, it is expected that initially staff involved with judicial appointments in the Department for Constitutional Affairs will be transferred to the Commission.)

General reporting requirements

  1. The Commission must submit a statement of accounts to the Minister each financial year. This statement is subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor-General.
  2. The Commission must provide an annual report to the Minister. Similarly, the Commission must report on any matter which the Minister directs. All reports are made available to both Houses of Parliament and then published.

Scotland

Introduction

  1. Scotland has a separate legal system within the United Kingdom. In June 2002, the Judicial Appointments Board was established with the aim of bringing openness and transparency to the appointments process.

Membership

  1. The Board comprises 10 members, appointed by the Scottish Ministers after advertising for applicants. The Board is responsible to the Scottish Ministers for its activities. There is an even balance of legal and lay members, and the Chair must be a lay member.

Role of the Board

  1. The role of the Board is:
  • to provide the First Minister with a list of candidates recommended for appointment as Judge of the Court of Session, Sheriff Principal, Sheriff and Part-time Sheriff
  • to make such recommendations on merit, but also to consider ways of recruiting a judiciary which is as representative as possible of the communities it serves
  • to undertake recruitment and assessment efficiently and effectively.
  1. The Board is not involved in appointing the two senior-most Judges for Scotland (Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice Clerk), or the appointment of the Judges from Scotland to the House of Lords Appellate Committee (the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary 38 ).
  2. The Board can organise its own methods of working within a framework of principles laid down by the Executive including, for example, the principles that all appointments must be on merit, all vacancies must be advertised, and applicants must be considered against objective criteria.

Process for appointing judges

  1. Vacancies are publicly advertised and potential candidates apply. The Board considers the applications and comments from referees, and carries out interviews. The Board then ranks the candidates and makes a recommendation for appointment to the First Minister who in turn recommends the appointment to the Queen. The First Minister has discretion to reject the Board’s recommendation and require a new list to be drawn up, but only for compelling reasons.

Report on the Board’s first year of operation

  1. In July 2003 the House of Commons Committee on the Lord Chancellor’s Department published a report on the Scottish experience of an independent judicial appointments board, after one year of operation. 39
  2. The Committee commented that “[o]ur general impression was that the Judicial Appointments Board had settled down well, and was seen as successful even by those who had initial reservations about its creation or its structure. It was also particularly welcomed by those who regarded the old system of appointment as too open to political influence, too secretive, or too dominated by those practicing in Edinburgh.”
  3. The Committee noted the following matters for considerations in proposing a similar judicial appointments board for England and Wales:
  • Independence versus accountability. Independence is essential both in the Board’s recommendations and membership. Accountability is also essential. This is provided by Ministers retaining responsibility for the overall justice system and the Executive making judicial appointments or recommending them to The Queen.
  • The need for the Board to have a statutory base to guarantee its independence.
  • Funding. Some members thought that Ministers should be directly responsible for ensuring the Board is sufficiently well-resourced.
  • The importance of openness and transparency, both in judicial appointments and appointments to the Commission. Openness must be balanced against the individual candidate’s right to confidentiality.
  • Composition of Board and balance of members. The Scottish Board has a lay Chair and an equal balance of lay and legal members. Board members thought this had worked well and that the lay members were very valuable.
  • The appointment of Board members must be seen as politically independent and of the highest calibre.
  • The tenure of Board members should be secure but not indefinite. Appointments should be staggered, for continuity.
  • The length of time former Board members should remain ineligible for judicial appointment. Other members who knew ex-member candidates would also have to withdraw from the selection process because of a potential conflict of interest. It may be difficult to have enough Board members to accommodate this.
  • Whether the most senior judicial appointments should be subject to the same appointment procedures.

Northern Ireland

Background

  1. Since 1973 the Lord Chancellor has been responsible for making or advising the Queen on all judicial appointments in Northern Ireland. Administrative support is provided by the Northern Ireland Court Service.
  2. The Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 sets out a framework for establishing a new Judicial Appointments Commission, but this has not yet been implemented. The Commission will consist of a Chair plus 12 members – five judicial members nominated by the Lord Chief Justice, two members of the legal profession nominated by professional bodies, and five lay representatives of the community.

Commission’s functions

  1. As in Scotland, the power to appoint (or recommend appointments to the Queen) will remain with the Executive, although this power will shift from the Lord Chancellor to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.
  2. The Commission’s role will be to organise selection panels and to shortlist and interview candidates before making recommendations to the First and Deputy First Ministers. The Ministers may invite the Commission to reconsider its decision but ultimately must appoint or recommend candidates selected by the Commission.
  3. Appointments are to be strictly on merit. The Commission must also ensure that those available for selection are as representative as possible of the community. For each of its recommendations, the Commission must make a report of its selection process, including the basis of its decision. It must also produce an annual report.

Interim arrangements

  1. The Commissioner for Judicial Appointments for Northern Ireland is a temporary appointment from December 2001 until December 2006. The Commissioner’s appointment will be reviewed when the Judicial Appointments Commission is established. The Commissioner is also a member of the Commission for Judicial Appointments (UK).
  2. The Commissioner is part-time and is supported by a staff of four. His or her role is to oversee and monitor the fairness of the existing appointments system until a judicial appointments commission is established. This monitoring role will be done by:
  • auditing existing processes and procedures for making and renewing judicial and tribunal appointments
  • handling complaints resulting from those procedures
  • monitoring the work programme of the Judicial Appointments Unit of the Northern Ireland Court Service for implementing recommendations about appointments that do not require legislative change
  • monitoring procedures for appointing QCs and handling complaints arising from appointments
  • considering comments on the judicial appointments processes
  • investigating any matter in the appointments process as directed by the Lord Chancellor
  • recommending improvements and changes to the Lord Chancellor.

Western Europe

  1. Many Western European countries operate a civil law legal system, in contrast to the common law legal systems of England, Australia, Canada (except for Quebec), USA and New Zealand. Civil law countries operate under a codified system of law, while the common law is based on a body of precedents that have evolved from judicial decisions (although increasingly the common law has been codified in statute).
  2. Because of its inquisitorial nature, civil law countries require considerably more judges, for example, Germany has 20,000 judges and France 6,000. In France and Italy judges often have alternate periods as judges and public prosecutors during their career.
  3. Consequently many civil law countries recruit their judges immediately after a person, in their twenties, graduates with a law degree. They are then trained at a specialist judicial training centre. After one-two years training, judges begin their judicial career. Promotion to higher courts is usually based on experience and merit and, increasingly, judicial appointment commissions are involved in this process.
  4. Dr Cheryl Thomas has examined the judicial appointments process in six continental countries (France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain). 40 Relevant findings were:
  • A variety of appointment models exists. The membership of the appointments commissions is summarised in Table Four.
  • There may be specific exceptions to these models, for example, appointments to a constitutional court responsible for judicial review, or to the top court. In France and the Netherlands a significant number of judicial appointments are made from among more experienced lawyers.
  • An important development has been the creation of judicial self-governing bodies (usually referred to as ‘high councils of the judiciary’). These tend to have extensive control over judicial appointments, promotion and tenure. This has increased independence from the executive, 41 reduced the influence of the senior judiciary and, in some countries, lead to the creation of judicial associations often broadly aligned to political parties or interests.
  • Women make up a significant proportion of judges in most countries examined.
  • Some knowledge of the legal system was considered necessary and advantageous for lay representatives on the appointments commissions. The more crucial issue was how to choose lay members.

North America

  1. Dr Kate Malleson has examined appointment commissions in the USA and Canada. 42
  2. At the federal level in the USA, judicial appointments are made by the President. Candidates are assessed by a Committee of the American Bar Association and reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee before a vote in the Senate.
  3. At the state level, some form of appointment commission is used to select candidates for appointment. This method is termed “Missouri plans” or “merit plans”. The American Judicature Society (AJS) identifies the basic elements of a merit plan as:
  • a commission comprised of both lay and lawyer members to recruit, screen, investigate and evaluate judicial candidates
  • nomination to the appointing authority of a limited number (usually two to five) of candidates
  • appointment by the State Governor [i.e. the executive] or other appointing authority.

Table Four: Membership of Institutions Responsible for Judicial Appointments in Selected European Countries 43

European Country No. of Members Method of selection
FRANCE
Conseil Superieur de laMagistrature(CSM)
12 5 elected by judges
1 public prosecutor
1 councillor of state chosen by his/her peers
3 individuals nominated one each by President of the Republic, the Senate and National Assembly
Ex officio Members:
President of Republic and Minister of Justice
ITALY
Consiglio superiore dellamagistratura(Csm)
33 20 judges elected directly by the judiciary
10 lawyers or university law professors nominated by Parliament
Ex officio Members:
President of the Court of CassationProsecutor general of CassationPresident of the Republic
SPAIN
Consejo General del PoderJudicial
21 12 judges
8 lawyers with more than 15 years experience.
All appointed by Parliament, with six each nominated by the Congress of Deputies and the Senate by a 3/5 majority.
Ex officio Members:
President of the Supreme Court
PORTUGAL
Conselho Superior da Magistradura (CSM)
17 7 judges elected directly by judiciary
1 judge nominated by President of Republic
7 non-judges nominated by parliament
1 non-judge nominated by President of Republic
Ex Officio Members:
President of the Supreme Court
THE NETHERLANDS
Judicial Selection Committee
5 3 members of the judiciary
1 outsider (university professor, journalist, member of the bar)
1 member of the Justice Department
GERMANY
Lander Appointment Boards

Federal Selection Committee

various
32
members of the judiciary
members of the Land Parliament
members of the bar— nominees for appointment to judiciary recommended by Land Minister of Justice
16 representatives of regional Ministries of Justice
16 elected by the federal Parliament
  1. Dr Malleson found the following features of US state appointment commissions:
  • Lawyer members are appointed by the local bar association, while lay members are appointed by the Governor. There is also usually some judicial representation.
  • The size of the commissions varies from five to 24 members, with five, seven and nine being the most common size
  • Some have a majority of lawyers, others a majority of lay members.
  • Judicial vacancies are advertised.
  • Rules about confidentiality are adopted.
  • Commissions attract widespread public support and are generally perceived as a superior method of appointment.
  1. In Canada, appointment committees have been widely used since the 1980s. There are approximately 2,000 judges, half of whom are appointed by the federal government.
  2. Dr Malleson found the following features of the Canadian federal appointment committees:
  • Each committee consists of seven members, each of whom sits for two years with a possibility of one further re-appointment. The committees have three lawyers, three lay people and one judge, all chosen by the Minister of Justice.
  • Two lay members and one lawyer are appointed directly by the Minister, while the others are appointed from lists of nominees.
  • The provincial law society and local branch of the Canadian Bar Association each provide a list of lawyers, the provincial Chief Justice provides a list of judges, and the provincial Attorney-General or Minister of Justice provides a list of lay people.
  • The federal Minister of Justice must ensure that the committee is representative by selecting members who reflect the geographical, gender, language and cultural factors in the province.
  • The committees are advisory and do not actively recruit candidates. They respond to names submitted by the executive.
  • Potential candidates for judicial appointment may apply to the Commissioner for Federal Affairs (a public servant) who confirms whether the applicant meets the technical requirements before submitting the application to the relevant committee.
  • The committees only deal with initial judicial appointments. It is considered inappropriate for the committee to deal with promotions as this could involve scrutiny of a sitting judge.
  • By convention Ministers have agreed only to appoint those recommended by the committee.
  1. At provincial level, there are a wide variety of appointment models, with judicial appointments ultimately determined by the provincial Cabinet. A successful committee is the Ontario Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee. 44 Key features are:
  • Thirteen members comprising:
    – seven lay people, who are neither judges nor lawyers, appointed by the provincial Attorney-General;
    – three lawyers, one appointed by the Ontario branch of the Canadian Bar Association, one by the Law Society of Upper Canada, and one by the County and District Law Presidents’ Association; and
    – two provincial judges appointed by the Chief Judge of the Provincial Division; and
    – a member of the Judicial Council, appointed by the Council.
  • The lawyers’ associations and Attorney-General must consider the need for demographic representativeness among committee members.
  • Members are appointed for a three-year term, which may be renewed. The initial set of appointments was staggered to ensure continuity when members’ terms ended.
  • The committee proactively recruits and reviews candidates. This has been important in the effort to appoint a greater proportion of women and members of ethnic minorities to the bench.
  • The committee can decide on the particular criteria to be applied in making a recommending an appointment:
    – The statutory criteria require an assessment of professional excellence, community awareness and personal characteristics, and recognising the desirability of reflecting the diversity of Ontario society in judicial appointments.
    – The more detailed criteria developed by the committee covers professional excellence, community awareness, personal characteristics and demographic characteristics.
    – The committee must produce an annual report, which is tabled in the provincial Parliament.
    – A committee member may not act as a referee for an applicant and must withdraw if there is any conflict of interest. Members cannot be considered for judicial appointment for two years after they cease to be a member of the Committee.
  1. The appointment process involves three stages before interview:
  • A lengthy written application is reviewed by committee members. At least three members must select the candidate as fulfilling the selection criteria.
  • A telephone check of four referees supplied by the candidate.
  • “Discrete inquiries” are made of senior members of the bench and the bar.
  1. Following interviews with listed candidates, a ranked shortlist of at least two recommended candidates, with reasons, is given to the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General must appoint a candidate on the list, although he or she may reject a list and request a new one. The Committee does not advise an applicant if they have been recommended to the Attorney-General.
  2. The Committee does not keep a list of unsuccessful candidates and requires a fresh application for each vacancy. When appropriate, it may reconsider an applicant interviewed in the previous twelve months.
  3. From its inception on 1 January 1989 until 31 December 2001, the Committee has received more than 2000 applications and 182 judges have been appointed. 66% of all Ontario’s judges were appointed through the system.
  4. In 2001 four judges were appointed on the nomination of the Committee, and the Minister was considering recommendations for a further five vacancies. The Committee met 16 times, interviewed over 80 candidates and recommended 45 candidates for appointment.

Israel

  1. Judges are appointed by the President of the State on the nomination of the Judges’ Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee is composed of nine members:
  • three judges (the President of the Supreme Court and two Supreme Court justices)
  • two members of the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament)
  • two Ministers (one of them being the Minister of Justice, who chairs the Committee)
  • two representatives of the Israel Bar Association.

Procedure

  1. Vacancies are advertised in the official government gazette and potential candidates can apply using a questionnaire supplied by the Committee. The Minister of Justice, the President of the Supreme Court and three Committee members may also propose candidates. Candidates are interviewed by a sub-committee, which presents its findings to the Nominations Committee. The Committee decides on the appointment of a judge by majority vote of members taking part in the ballot.

Appointment of Committee

  1. Except for the Minister of Justice and the President of the Supreme Court, Committee members are elected through secret ballot by the members of their respective institutions. This is to safeguard the independence of committee members and depoliticise the nominations process. Political considerations require the inclusion of at least one religious justice on the Supreme Court, as well as representation of Sephardim and women on the nominating committee

South Africa

  1. All judges of the higher courts in South Africa are appointed by the President of the National Assembly on the advice of the Judicial Services Commission.
  2. The Commission consists of 23 members. These are:
  • Chief Justice (Chair)
  • two representatives of the Presidents of the other Courts
  • two practising barristers nominated by the profession
  • two practising solicitors nominated by the profession
  • one academic lawyer
  • six members of the National Assembly, at least three of whom are members of the Opposition
  • four delegates from the National Council of Provinces
  • Minister of Justice or delegate
  • four persons designated by the National President after consulting other party leaders.
  1. The highest court in South Africa is the Constitutional Court, which consists of the President, Deputy President and nine other Judges. The President and Deputy President are appointed by the President of the National Assembly after consultation with the Commission and leaders of other political parties. The Commission’s recommendations to these positions are not binding on the President, unlike its recommendations to other courts and for the other judges of the Constitutional Court.
  2. Legislation provides more detailed procedures for appointing the other judges of the Constitutional Court. The Commission prepares a list of nominees containing three more names than the number of appointments to be made. The President then consults with the President of the Court and political party leaders. The President must advise the Commission with reasons if any of the nominees are unacceptable and any appointments remain to be made. The Commission must then supplement the original list and the President must make the remaining appointments from that supplemented list.
  3. The President also appoints the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice after consulting with the Commission.

Public process

  1. The appointment process in South Africa is notable for its very open and public nature. In most jurisdictions that operate some form of commission, details of possible nominees are kept confidential until an appointment is made. Generally the public is not informed of the names of candidates who have not been appointed and the details of interviews are kept confidential.
  2. Prior to the establishment of the Commission, judges were appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice. There were no consultation requirements. This process was heavily criticised for being secret and resulting in judges who were virtually all male, white, middle-class and largely Afrikaans-speaking. The response of the Commission is to operate a uniquely open and public process. Interviews of potential candidates are in public, and transcripts of interviews are posted on the Internet. 45 One academic has commented that few people attend the interviews and that most of the public have no greater knowledge of the appointment process now than under the previous system.46
  3. In a comparison of the United Kingdom and South African processes, Sir Sydney Kentridge QC does not support open interviews.47

31 Including Constitutional Reform: a new way of appointing judges.
32 All consultation papers, summary of responses and individual submissions on each topic are available at http://www.dca.gov.uk/consult/closed.htm
33 The Bill is available athttp://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200304/ldbills/030/2004030.htm and the Explanatory Notes to the Bill are available athttp://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200304/ldbills/030/en/04030x–.htm[Last accessed 9 March 2004.]
34 Part 2 and clauses 20-22 of the [UK] Constitutional Reform Bill set the membership and procedure.
35 The senior judges are identified as the other Justices of the Supreme Court, the Lord Chief Justice for England and Wales, the Master of the Rolls, the Lord President of the Court of Session in Scotland, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland; and from the High Court for England and Wales, the President of the Family Division, the Chancellor, and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division.
36 Under the changes the present Lord Chancellor is also known as the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. The Constitutional Reform Bill proposes, in Part 1, the abolition of the Office of Lord Chancellor. The discussion in this paper follows the definition in the Bill and uses the term “the Minister” for the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs.
37 This discussion draws from the Explanatory Notes to the [UK] Constitutional Reform Bill.
38 Under the Constitutional Reform Bill the Appellate Committee will be replaced by the proposed Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. The initial Judges of the Supreme Court will be the existing Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, and subsequent appointments will be made through the specific process for that Court outlined in paragraphs 5-9 above.
39 House of Commons Committee on the Lord Chancellor’s Department, Judicial Appointments: Lessons from the Scottish experience, Second Report of Session 2002 -03, HC 902, 4 July 2003
40 Dr Cheryl Thomas, (1997), Judicial Appointments in Continental Europe, in K Malleson and C Thomas, Judicial Appointments Commissions: The European and North American Experience and the possible implications for the United Kingdom, discussion papers prepared for the Lord Chancellor’s Department.
41 Generally however Dr Thomas observes that judges in common law countries are more independent from the executive. In Portugal and Spain the creation of an independent judiciary was an important element in the transition to democracy.
42 Dr Kate Malleson, (1997), The Use of Judicial Appointment Commissions: A review of the US and Canadian Models, in K Malleson and C Thomas, Judicial Appointments Commissions: The European and North American Experience and the possible implications for the United Kingdom, discussion papers prepared for the Lord Chancellor’s Department.
43 Source: Judicial Appointments in Continental Europe, Dr Cheryl Thomas, (1997) a discussion paper prepared for the Lord Chancellor’s Department.
44 See its website athttp://www.ontariocourts.on.ca/judicial_appointments/index.htm
45 See www.concourt.gov.za/interviews/index
46 K. Malleson, “Assessing the performance of the Judicial Service Commission”, 116(1), South African Law Journal, 1999, 36 quoted in Dr Max Spry, Executive and High Court Appointments, Parliament of Australia, Department of the Parliamentary Library Research Paper 7 2000-2001.
47 Sir Sydney Kentridge QC, “The Highest Court: Selecting the Judges”, Cambridge Law Journal 62(1), March 2003, pp.55-71.