Friday, July 29, 2016

McDonald on Politicans as Judges in Australia

Douglas McDonald, a tipstaff at the Supreme Court of New South Wales and a former solicitor, has posted Worlds Apart: The Appointment of Politicians as Judges, which appears in the Alternative Law Journal 41 (2016): 18-23:    
This article examines the history of appointments of serving and former politicians as judges in Australia. Potential causes for the decline of such appointments include changes within the legal profession (with lawyers unable or unwilling to make the financial sacrifices involved in full-time political service); changes within politics (a more intensive and vitriolic profession than in preceding decades); and changes in public views and perceptions of politics, including increased controversy surrounding perceived ‘patronage’ appointments. This article argues that judges’ previous experience in politics may be a valuable source of insight into policy formation and the functioning and interaction of different branches of government.