There was once a time when appointed judges could remain in office foras long as they wished.1However, the Judicial Pensions Act 1959 introduced a broad judicial retirementage of 75. This retirement age was eventually amended to 70 by the JudicialPensions and Retirement Act 1993.2One of the main rationales behind this reduction of retirement age was tointroduce uniformity to the judicial retirement system3,which was believed would allow diversity into this profession. It wasconsidered that with older judges retiring earlier, a new set of younger judgeswould be allowed to hold office and thus would a diversity of ages and peopleinto the judicial office system.
4 Despite this change to the law, which was put into action in 1993, manyscholars disagree with it till date; many people hold the view that theretirement age for judges should be raised back to 75. It is considered thatthat retirement till age 75 of judge is at their highest level – where provenjudicial quality and understanding are at an ultimate point in the developmentof law.5 Moreover, instead of lowering the age to introducediversity, many believe that the differential retirement ages will help topromote diversity and uphold public confidence in the judiciary as being of theuppermost superiority.
6Additionally, an increased retirement age can be perceived by some as benefit tothose who worked on their career later in life, possibly after taking a career pauseto raise a family.7 Moreover,having a set retirement age of 70 is undeniably an unintelligent tool to measurewhether someone is no longer wholly capable of performing their judicial duties. However, on the other side of the coin, there is much disagreement withthe notion of increasing judges’ retirement age to 75, who claim otherwise. Itis believed that at the lower levels of the judiciary, judges who do not retireuntil the age of 75 could be possibly said to be blocking career paths fortheir younger contemporaries. The lowered retirement age allows diversity byletting younger colleagues go up the career ladder and provides them with moreroom for growth and development with a greater number of opportunities.
Also,that the older judges would have relatively less knowledge about the latest issuesarising from new developments in different fields (such as technology,cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, etc.) With younger individuals beingintroduced into the system and holding judicial offices, the judicial systemwould have knowledge of a greater variety for all sorts of various worldlyadvancements. Although both sides of the argument have strong considerations, Ibelieve that the retirement age should be raised to the age of 75. Since theJudicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993 was put into action with its aim tointroduce diversity, it is not right to reduce the retirement age to not letthe judges who want to serve till after the age of 70 to be restricted.Instead, there are other ways to allow the younger generation of judges to beincorporated into the system; such as, reducing standards to a certain extentto allow younger credible individuals with lesser experience to join the systemat the lower court levels. Also, the knowledge that a senior judge would holdin his or her seventies would come with a deeper understanding of law than of anewer and younger judge who has just taken the office with relatively lesserexperience. As for the changing world, any older or younger judge would not beexpected to stay updated about all advancements; thus, the system should allowfor them to retrieve any case-relevant information whenever needed.
Last butnot the least, according to section 11, subsection 7 of the Senior Courts Act1981, any judge can leave their office whenever they wish by giving the LordChancellor a notice in writing to that effect. Having a retirement age of 75for judges does not actually force them to work until that age. 8 In conclusion, there are some pros and cons of having judges’ retirementage increased to 75, but the overall conclusion is that instead of thinking ofintroducing age diversity in this way, the system should still open doors forthe younger judges but not force the older and more experienced judges out ofthe system. Having a blunt cut-off age for retirement actually accentuates issuessuch as age discrimination. Instead, the priceless experience that comes withage and with the development of law over the years adds to the diversity ofmind-sets that the judicial system needs with the changing world and itsadvancing issues.1 Wikipedia,Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 19932 Wikipedia,Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 19933 Stevens, 20054 House of Lords – Judicial Committee –Constitutional Committee5 House ofLords – Judicial Committee – Constitutional Committee6 House ofLords – Judicial Committee – Constitutional Committee7 The Times, Judicialretirement age ‘should be raised to 75’8Senior Courts Act 1981