Political Preferment in English Judicial Appointments, 1880–2005
27 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2012 Last revised: 31 Jul 2012
Date Written: 2012
I investigate promotion to the Court of Appeal and House of Lords between 1880 and 2005. I exploit the fact that appointment is almost invariably from within the ranks of existing High Court judges, and, using a conditional logit model, find that family status and a law degree are no aid to promotion, and indeed a law degree may be a disadvantage. Judges from family courts, judges who took a full-time appointment below the High Court, and judges who were older at the time of their first appointment, are disadvantaged. More experienced, better educated and (for the Lords) more clubbable judges are advantaged. Although there is no advantage to having the same political affiliation as the appointing Lord Chancellor, judges are more likely to be promoted if they were previously appointed by the incumbent party. This effect is smaller after 1924.
Keywords: judicial appointment, partisanship, conditional logit
JEL Classification: K00, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation