Rewarding Merit in Judicial Appointments?: A research project undertaken by the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast for the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission

Philip Leith, John Morison

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

275 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This research involved carrying out an online survey using a number of vignettes/scenarios to explore understandings and attitudes to judicial appointments. This sort of survey is relatively novel in this context and provided a useful way of understanding how a range of factors such as merit and seniority, career paths and connections, as well as gender and visibility, are perceived as operating within the appointments system. The research also involved a series of focus group interviews with a number of individuals with various professional backgrounds and at different levels of seniority. These, and a limited number of individual interviews, afforded an opportunity to explore more closely some of the themes arising from the scenarios as well as a chance to look in some depth at some of the views and concerns of a range of members of the legal professions.

Building upon the previous research project, this work was less concerned with revisiting earlier themes and more interested in exploring how the idea of “merit” as a governing factor in judicial appointment is seen as working in practice, and whether it is perceived as being most likely to be found within particular career profiles. We also investigated issues such as the possible development of formal and informal pathways to a judicial career and practical problems such as how an applicant might become known to the senior judiciary, and the importance of this. Overall our interest was primarily in developing an understanding of how gender is perceived to operate in the appointments process and how any barriers to recruiting women, particularly to the senior judiciary, could be further broken down.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSchool of Law, Queen's University
Commissioning bodyNorthern Ireland Judicial Appoints Commission
Number of pages66
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Rewarding Merit in Judicial Appointments?: A research project undertaken by the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast for the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this