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Scrutiny
  
(Mis)judge all!
Judges should be appointed...
25/12/2008

A debate drawing global attention today is on whether judges should be elected or appointed. Supporters of electoral process defend it quoting democracy as the keyword. But here, we’re talking about the judiciary, not the glam and glitz business! Many intelligent judges would lose to many public-seeking non-intellectuals (who could manage to draw public attention!).

Amongst the few who follow the electoral process are the states in US, where state-court judges participate, raise funds, and do everything possible to gain popularity as politicians [plain intellect be damned!]. Sadly, judges in the highest courts of justice are also chosen by the same old electoral process.

For example, the International Criminal Court (ICC) elects popular judges who can win 66.67% of 108 votes. Moreover, a hefty annual package of above $170,000 during their nine years tenure only works to attract corrupted & powerful judges or those close to the ruling class even without adequate qualifications or experience. Electoral process in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is worse. The condition there is that the five permanent member countries of the Security Council would compulsorily have ‘at least’ one judge, and the rest would be from their close allies. Thus when ICJ interrogates any crime, judges of that country and allies will act in support of the state and in extreme, they use veto power. On this unfair state of affairs, even Hilario G. Davide, Philippine Permanent Representative to UN retorted in an open debate before the General Assembly on November 18, 2008, “Why give the Permanent Members of the Security Council such a special privilege, which could result in a continuing violation of the representations requirements?” Even when US Secy. General Ban Ki-moon appointed a committee to independently scrutinise qualification of appointees to ICJ, he was told to consider “geography and sex above all”.

Well, you’ve blamed the judiciary bench at your will for long now, but the next time you decide to do so, remember, there’s nothing wrong with them, it’s us! For we ‘democratically’ voted them to (mis)judge us, didn’t we?!

By:- Akram Hoque
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