JessH653
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Big ask, but I'd really appreciate it if I could get feedback on a practice LNAT essay I did in timed conditions. Many thanks!

Question: How should judges be appointed?
Wordcount: 649

In countries where the judiciary operates independently from the government, there are generally two approaches to the election of judges. One is the appointment of legal professionals as judges by those higher in the justice system, as is the case in the UK, while the other is election by the people, as is the case in the US. Taking the goal of judicial appointment to be the creation of a fair justice system, we will ignore methods of judicial appointment in countries without these values (i.e authoritarian states) as these are hardly legal systems to emulate in the interests of human rights. Ultimately, the appointment from above approach is the superior system with this goal in mind because it frees judges from the considerations of a political official, which can prevent a judge from viewing a case on its own merits.

The appointment of judges based on experience ensures the legal expertise. The appointees are experienced lawyers, which is helpful because lawyers and judges are both expected to operate in a detached mindset from the case before them. A committee consisting of higher-ranking legal officials is best suited to recognising this quality, among others befitting a judge, in an applicant, because of their own extensive knowledge of the position. This begs the question of how important impartiality is in a judge, and indeed, it is truly vital. Take, for instance, the case of former Australian archbishop George Pell, who was convicted of sexually abusing minors. In his sentencing, judges expressed the need to prevent ‘a witch hunt’ from stemming from the anger at the wider scandal of abuse in the catholic church. The impartiality showed by the judges in this case was fundamental as the catholic church is followed by millions, while the case of Pell concerned him alone. Hence, the principles of judicial fairness were upheld. In summary, it is logical that the judiciary be appointed from above, among a pool of experienced legal professionals, ensuring both candidate and appointer have the best possible understanding of the characteristics of a good judge.

Of course, the chief argument for the electoral system of judges is that the people have a right to decide who their judges are, but this system is dangerous for judicial fairness. For a start, the assertion that judges must be elected to be representative is simply incorrect. Judges are subject to the law and the law is decreed (at least in democracies) by the government, who rely on election for power. Hence, even in the absence of judicial election, the public can still control the judges by electing officials who will bind judges with laws that will be popular. But this problem with judicial election pales in comparison to the problems it creates for judicial fairness. When a judge relies on election, they must consider the impact their decisions will have on public opinion else risk losing their position. Indeed, there is evidence in the USA (where judicial election is used) that judges are giving unfounded sentences to criminals to uphold the perception of them as ‘keeping the community safe’, winning votes. An innocent defendant may even have evidence in his favour ignored in order to satiate public anger against him. This is a violation of the right of the defendant to be tried purely on the basis of fact. Judicial election is hence not only unnecessary but contraindicative to the values of the justice system which the appointment of judges should uphold.

In conclusion, there is a compelling argument for the use of the appointment from above system over the election system for appointing judges. The strongest reason for this is upholding the values of the fair trial which are central to the justice system in liberal countries. Through ensuring the best characteristics for judges are present in appointees, appointment from above creates a better justice system by ensuring these values will be upheld.
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Keir Starmer
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(Original post by JessH653)
Big ask, but I'd really appreciate it if I could get feedback on a practice LNAT essay I did in timed conditions. Many thanks!

Question: How should judges be appointed?
Wordcount: 649

In countries where the judiciary operates independently from the government, there are generally two approaches to the election of judges. One is the appointment of legal professionals as judges by those higher in the justice system, as is the case in the UK, while the other is election by the people, as is the case in the US. Taking the goal of judicial appointment to be the creation of a fair justice system, we will ignore methods of judicial appointment in countries without these values (i.e authoritarian states) as these are hardly legal systems to emulate in the interests of human rights. Ultimately, the appointment from above approach is the superior system with this goal in mind because it frees judges from the considerations of a political official, which can prevent a judge from viewing a case on its own merits.

The appointment of judges based on experience ensures the legal expertise. The appointees are experienced lawyers, which is helpful because lawyers and judges are both expected to operate in a detached mindset from the case before them. A committee consisting of higher-ranking legal officials is best suited to recognising this quality, among others befitting a judge, in an applicant, because of their own extensive knowledge of the position. This begs the question of how important impartiality is in a judge, and indeed, it is truly vital. Take, for instance, the case of former Australian archbishop George Pell, who was convicted of sexually abusing minors. In his sentencing, judges expressed the need to prevent ‘a witch hunt’ from stemming from the anger at the wider scandal of abuse in the catholic church. The impartiality showed by the judges in this case was fundamental as the catholic church is followed by millions, while the case of Pell concerned him alone. Hence, the principles of judicial fairness were upheld. In summary, it is logical that the judiciary be appointed from above, among a pool of experienced legal professionals, ensuring both candidate and appointer have the best possible understanding of the characteristics of a good judge.

Of course, the chief argument for the electoral system of judges is that the people have a right to decide who their judges are, but this system is dangerous for judicial fairness. For a start, the assertion that judges must be elected to be representative is simply incorrect. Judges are subject to the law and the law is decreed (at least in democracies) by the government, who rely on election for power. Hence, even in the absence of judicial election, the public can still control the judges by electing officials who will bind judges with laws that will be popular. But this problem with judicial election pales in comparison to the problems it creates for judicial fairness. When a judge relies on election, they must consider the impact their decisions will have on public opinion else risk losing their position. Indeed, there is evidence in the USA (where judicial election is used) that judges are giving unfounded sentences to criminals to uphold the perception of them as ‘keeping the community safe’, winning votes. An innocent defendant may even have evidence in his favour ignored in order to satiate public anger against him. This is a violation of the right of the defendant to be tried purely on the basis of fact. Judicial election is hence not only unnecessary but contraindicative to the values of the justice system which the appointment of judges should uphold.

In conclusion, there is a compelling argument for the use of the appointment from above system over the election system for appointing judges. The strongest reason for this is upholding the values of the fair trial which are central to the justice system in liberal countries. Through ensuring the best characteristics for judges are present in appointees, appointment from above creates a better justice system by ensuring these values will be upheld.
Intro could be shorter and you could adopt a more simple method to write it.

This essay argues......
Define any key terms
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