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Pros and Cons of Elected and Appointed Judges

In the judiciary system, judges are the main characters. Judges can either be elected or be appointed. The process has been a problem since the old days. If a judge is elected, they are guided by the judicial laws. On the other hand, when a judge is appointed, it is subject to those appointed. Whether elected or appointed, these judges experience some common problems.

Pros of elected and appointed judges

1. High qualification: The judges chosen are qualified in both election and appointment. To appear in the election paper, they must meet the education standard set by the judicial commission. It ensures that only those who meet the qualification are in the election paper. Similarly, in the appointment of judges, they are ranked according to their level of education. The more the qualifications, the higher chances of being appointed.

2. Independence of judiciary: Independence of the judiciary is a crucial component that determines how the judiciary proceedings flow. Electing to judge has a positive impact in promoting the independence of the judiciary. Election injects new and fresh blood into the judiciary, promoting the quality of services. On the other side, appointing new judges has the same impact on the judiciary system.

3. Accountability: Accountability is a core pillar in the judicial system. Both election and appointment of judges promote accountability. With the election-based system, the elected judges are accountable to those who voted them in. Therefore, they should appeal to the public and prove fairness in their judging. The appointed judges are accountable to the people or commission that chose them.

4. Public confidence: both the election and appointment system helps to minimize the occurrence of the dictatorial system within the judicial system. Elected judges build the faith and confidence of the public. They assured quality ruling, as they are involved directly in choosing them. In the appointment-based system, the judges selected can rebuild public confidence. This system check misuse of power and thus minimizes the crisis of dictatorial leadership within the judicial system.

5. Public involvement: The public is either directly or indirectly involved in the process of endorsing judges. In the election-based system, the public participation in voting for new judges to represent them. Therefore, they are involved directly. On the other side, in the appointment-based system, the public is indirectly involved in choosing judges.

6. Promotes democracy: Democracy is a system where individuals are allowed to participate in the process of choosing leaders. With the election, the public can exercise their democratic right. The appointment of judges is also democratic. Individuals/commissions are granted the right to suggest judges whom they want.

7. Transparency: Both systems can improve the transparency of a judiciary. The public can monitor their elected judges, and they can vote them out in case of poor services. The judicial commission checks the powers and responsibilities of the appointed judges. In case of any misconduct, they can replace them with other judges. Therefore, the two systems promote transparency within the judiciary system.

8. Screening and vetting of the candidates are possible: People judges are elected or appointed. They are supposed to be vetted. The vetting process helps to produce corrupt-free judges. By doing so, the court cases and other proceedings can run smoothly.

9. Deepens pool of judges: both systems have the effect of increasing the number of judges in the judiciary system.

Cons of elected and appointed judges

1. Politicizing in the judicial system: The judicial system should be a free and independent institution. The judicial system is now linked with politics and other drawbacks brought by politics. The voting of judges has affected the independence of the judiciary. The process of voting judges depends on the popularity of the judges in question and not their competency.

2. Ideological differences: There exist ideological differences between the elected judges and the appointed ones. Elected judges base the jurisdiction decision on the law and the people who voted them in. In contrast, the appointed judges are subject to the authority or individuals who appointed them. It leads to poor services and rulings in the judiciary system.

3. Both systems are not ideal: these two systems of choosing judges are not the best. The judges are chosen based on popularity and name recognition with the election-based system. That means popular people are likely to be voted in as the new judges. On the other side, appointment to is name recognition and political move. These two system yields less qualified judges with less legal and constitutional knowledge.

4. Corruption issues: Like in the legislative system, elected judges are likely to misuse their offices. Most elected judges are less qualified and know less about the judicial system. Due to this, they are likely to mishandle the resource set aside for the operation of the judiciary. In addition, transparency may not be observed in solving cases and disputes.

5. Judges are not the same: The biggest challenge with electing and appointing judges is that judges are not the same. How they carry out the diplomatic activities differs from one judge to another. It is not easy to measure the competence of judges by votes. Similarly, appointing judges may not produce the best judges. The public can vote to judge whom they think is better, and they are more evil and corrupt than the previous.

6. Discrimination is common: In cases where the election is involved, there must be supporters and the opposition side. This difference can later be reflected in the ruling of cases where the judge tends to support their supporters only. In case of appointment, the appointed judges will rule in favor of those who chose them. Therefore, these issues would lead to discrimination and denial of rights.

7. Working duration: The elected and appointed judges are not in permanent contact with their employers. Their ruling duration is determined by how many times they are voted in with the elected judges. If the public is not satisfied with their services, they can terminate their contract by voting against other judges. The appointed judges can also be sacked before their working contract expires.

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