Keeping the status quo

It was a great pity you could not give further quotes from the Judges' Council response to the Home Affairs Select Committee in your edition of 28 March. The quotes given are far more entertaining than anything which has appeared in the Tulkinghorn column for years. We are told the system of monitoring and assessing judicial candidates ensures only the best suited become judges. Your report goes on to say very few systems in the private sector offer anything approaching this degree of "assurance". Assurance for whom? Perhaps the more appropriate term would have been "complacency" or "self-satisfaction".

The biggest laugh of all must be reserved for the suggestion that any alternative system of judicial selection will lead to politicisation. What a terrible thing that would be. Are today's judges politicised? Oh deary me no. We couldn't have that could we? We all know today's judges are brought up and work in a political vacuum. The very idea of a political thought in their lofty minds would instantly die of loneliness. I think not.

Perhaps what the Judges' Council means is that a more open and accountable system would lead to a shift in the nature of the existing politicisation and they are quite happy to keep it the way it is. Fancy that.

Gordon Campbell

Leighton Buzzard.