§ Mr. Fraser
asked the Attorney-General what steps are taken before appointment to ensure that magistrates and judges are free from racial prejudice.
§ The Attorney-General
Before appointing or recommending the appointment of a candidate to judicial office the Lord Chancellor carries out wide-ranging consultations with the judiciary and senior members of the legal profession in order to assess the personal and professional suitability of all candidates.
In the case of lay magistrates the Lord Chancellor and the Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster receive annual recommendations from their local advisory committees about new appointments to magisterial benches within their respective geographical areas. The persons appointed are required to be personally suitable for judicial work and one of the purposes of the interviews which candidates undergo is to satisfy the committees that they possess the necessary judicial qualities.
Anyone who is found to be racially prejudiced would be excluded from further consideration for either a professional or a lay appointment.
§ Mr. Fraser
asked the Attorney-General how many judges have been reprimanded by the Lord Chancellor in the last 12 months.