Judicial elections, democratic appointment (e.g., senate confirmation), and the Missouri Plan (a/k/a "merit selection")

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Monday, September 22, 2014

A European View of Judicial Selection

The Judge and His Hangman: Judicial Selection and the Accountability of Judges
by Bertrand Claude Lemennicier of Paris Sorbonne Université, and Nikolai Wenzel of
Université Paris II.

The Abstract:    

Who gets to determine rights and justice? Which mechanism of judicial selection and accountability is optimal? There is no easy answer. If judges are independent experts, nominated and evaluated by their peers, they will be immune from the pressures of electoral rent-seeking, but unaccountable to the people. If judges are elected, they will be democratically accountable, but subject to the redistributive pressures of the ballot box. If judges are nominated and controlled by politicians, they will face the temptations of bureaucratic self-interest and will not be democratically accountable, but they will be shielded from the Public Choice problems of elections. This paper uses the death penalty in the United States, to measure and compare the impact of different methods of judicial selection. In the end, there is no optimal solution – at least not within a judicial monopoly that ignores the voices of the actual participants.

1 comment:

  1. OMG this was way to much thinking about judicial selection. Judicial selection is extremely important but does not address the automatic forced retirement that makes Europe, by default, more honorable than the escaped colonies of America. Here in America that overthrew the United States we began a nation with few law schools and needed to allow the SCOTUS Article III geezers to remain till death.

    Europe has a much firmer foundation or history of law and realized centuries ago that the monarchy of Kings and Queens was too similar to a judicial oligarchy where these geezers with culturally irrelevant life experiences due to senescence were allowed to remain till death if they wished.