a big problem, because law degree, bar
1 Judicial Pensions
and Retirement Act 1993, s 26.
2 Owen Bowcott, ‘Allow Judiciary to Work Until 75, Says
Britain’s Most Senior Judge’ (the Guardian, 2017)
accessed 9 January 2018
3 Owen Bowcott, ‘Courts Are Running Out of Qualified Judges,
Peers Are Told’ (the Guardian, 2017)
accessed 9 January 2018
4 The Judicial Pensions
and Retirement Act 1993, s 26 (4)
5 Geoffrey Rivlin, ‘The Law and Its Importance’ 2012
Understanding the law, p. 14
6 The Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations
2011, regulation 2.
7 The Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act
1993, s 26
8 ‘Social Mobility in Law ‘Worse Than
The 1970S’, Says Cherie Blair’ (Times Higher Education (THE), 2017)
accessed 9 January 2018
The retirement age of judges should not be increased. A
specific law has been put in place to enforce the rights of judges regarding
retirement and pensions. The legal system has to limit people’s freedom to some
extent, in this case the retirement age to 70. However, it does not do any
unnecessary harm. It would be unfair to raise retirement age to 75 and limit
opportunities for younger generation, but mostly to make changes to legislation
that was specially enforced twenty-five years ago.
Another way of solving the problem, which would take
less time and most likely be a long-term achievement is recruiting young people
from different countries. Law is one of the most popular courses worldwide. Opening
the opportunity for young people who have completed required courses different
countries, would be a benefit for the UK. This would minimise the recruitment
problems in a shorter period and bring new ideas and view. Judges with
different backgrounds, experiences and education could also help the courts solve
Recruitment problem due to lack of qualified
candidates in the UK is the biggest issue. A way of solving it instead of
raising the retirement age of judges to 75 could be a better support for
students. Law is a life profession which requires a long way of education.
There is a big problem, because law degree, bar and legal practice course’ fees
are expensive and not many people can get much support, as a result not all of
them decide to go this path. 8
Improving the support from the government to students would increase a number
of potential judges. This could take some time to battle the recruitment issue,
however it would be long-term achievement.
ways of achieving the same outcome as raising age to 75
Whereas, the lower retirement of judges in lower
levels of courts, the better and wider opportunities for law students; higher
positions such as Supreme Court judges’ retirement age should stay the same.
These roles require a long way of experience, therefore not many students
decide to go this long path and it would be difficult to fulfil these
A current legislation limiting the retirement age of
judges to 70 7
is important to the UK citizens, but especially law students. Young generation
is the future of the country; therefore, it is essential to make sure there is
enough work places and opportunities.
Although, there are many different opinions and views
on a retirement age of judges, the most appropriate would be not to increase
it. Law has become one of the most popular courses, therefore young generation
has a better chance to progress to higher positions. If the retirement age was
75, judges would hold their office longer by five years. In those five years,
many young people’s paths would be blocked or the progress to get into these positions,
would take a lot longer. The legislation on the retirement age is allowing
young people to have open paths, as many courts provide more places for new
on retirement age issues
The retirement age of UK workers is close to the age
of compulsory retirement of judges, which is 70. If judges’ age increased to
75, it wouldn’t be fair for the rest of UK workers. Judges would seem to get a
better treatment by being allowed to work for a longer period than the rest of
citizens. This could create problems and make people feel discriminated.
the retirement age in the UK is 65 for men and 60 for women, however it is
increasing to 65. This isn’t a compulsory retirement age, as this was abolished
in 2018 by The Employment Equality (Repeal
of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011. This is stating that workers
cannot be forced to retire on the grounds of age. 6
Judges in the older age have been taught in the old
system of education. The legislations and legal system is changing, and new
court cases come into force. “…The laws we have today bear very little to those
of centuries ago. The laws we have in force at any particular time reflect our
thoughts and attitudes as a people at that time…” 5 By allowing judges to
retire at the age of 70 instead of 75, it allows people with a newer education
system to take over the roles. It also allows them to present different ideas
and solve issues in a modern way, as a benefit to the communities. It would
also benefit the future of laws, as these ideas could change the views on
certain legislations and cases.
Pensions and Retirement Act 1993 may be a fair legislation to people who hold
the opinion that retirement age of judges should not be raised to 75, due to
many different reasons.
age should not be raised to 75
On the other hand, a compulsory retirement rule lead
to loosing good people with great experience. Older judges have more experience
due to extended career and a better relationship in the community they work in.
People are more comfortable with consistency and unchanging. Extending the
retirement age by five years would be a good option for the society, as well as
Judges in different positions such as Crown Court,
High Court or Supreme Court are equally important. They attend hearings of
cases regarding most aspects of society. The statue stating the retirement age
of a judge at 70 is limiting the person to a date when they must vacate the
office, might be an issue. The Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993 4
is declaring the exceptions of Judges who shall vacate at the age of 75, these
exceptions may be considered as discrimination by allowing a higher retirement
age to Judges in the higher position. Allowing all judges to hold the office
until the age of 75 would seem fair.
The High and Crown Court are facing shortages of
suitably qualified candidates, as vacancies for these roles are being left
unfilled. Lord Justice Burnett, the vice-chair of the Judicial Appointments
Commission “told peers that in the most recent search for 55 new crown court
judges, only 44 were selected for appointment”. 3
The shortages in such important occupation is a serious issue, as the
communities need judges in different sectors. The idea of increasing retirement
age to 75 would be suitable in making sure there is enough judges in the
Courts, decreasing the problem of recruitment.
Some people may hold the opinion that the retirement
age for judges should be increased to 75, such as Lord Neuberger who thinks the
increase of age limit would help with the problems in recruiting in Crown Court
as well as High Court. He has also stated that “…It’s a bit odd that it’s being
reduced (from the previous age of 75) at the time retirement ages elsewhere are
going up”. 2
age should be raised to 75
The first legislation that came into force for High
Court and above relating retirement age was Judicial Pensions Act 1959, which
set the mandatory retirement age of 75. Before this, judges could continue in
the office as long as they wished. The most recent statue came into force,
Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993, with the general judicial retirement
age of 70. 1
Only a number of judges such as ten of current justices in the Supreme Court
are subject to the higher retirement age. Some people may agree with the above
statement of raising the retirement age to 75 for all judges in the UK, however
others may be against it due to many reasons.
Judges carry out many functions relating the legal
sector, with the main tasks to settle legal dispute and affirm the rule of law,
which are very important to the community. A lot of criminal cases and almost all
civil cases are heard by judges without a jury, they decide if the evidence is
credible and whether the witness is telling the truth. Being in such position,
also requires laws relating judges to make sure they’re being treated fairly.
on retirement age of judges
retirement age for judges should be raised to 75”
taken: This research report took eight hours to complete.
Lexi’s Library has also stated the first legislation was
established on 17th December 1959. Chapter 9, Section 2 (1) was
substituted with Section 26 of Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993,
changing the age of 75 to 70. It is no longer in force.
is it in force stated the whole act is in force since 31 March 1995.
publications and records data regarding retirement age is at https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201012/ldselect/ldconst/272/27210.htm, paragraph 190,
first legislation regarding retirement age of judges was Judicial Pensions Act
1959, Chapter 9, Section 2 (1).
primary legislation on retirement age of judges is Judicial Pensions and
Retirement Act 1993, Part 2, Section 26.
There is a primary legislation regarding a retirement
age of judges in the UK, which is Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1998. In
this Act, it is stated that a judge “shall vacate the office on the day on
which he attains the age of 70…”, however, only if first appointed to a
judicial office after the 31st March 1995 or at age 75 otherwise.
Judges appointed before 1995 could retire at the age of 75, as this was set in
the Judicial Pensions Act 1959, however not many remain active. It is also
forbidden to hold any judicial post after age 75 whatsoever, except Lord
the law to the facts:
This would ensure the jobs are open to younger people
in the lower level of judiciary, making sure the highest-level stays open for
the most talented and experienced who have not followed traditional paths.
experienced higher levels of judiciary should work until the age of 75, as experience
and judicial quality is important in the development of law. An example is several
serving judges remaining subject to the higher retirement age such as current
justices of Supreme Court. They decide on the country’s most significant cases,
whereas judges in Crown Court or High Court deal with less complex issues.
To ensure the community in the UK is having the most
experienced judges, they would have to work until the age of 75, as the law
strictly forbids judges to hold judiciary office any longer. However, that
would be unfair as the judicial capacity would decline with age and decrease
the new opportunities for younger judges who would inject new ideas to the
courts. As a result, career paths would be blocked.
Judges are an important part of the society as they
make impartial decisions to reach justice. To have the most experienced judges
working in the UK courts and ease the problem of judicial recruitment in the UK,
the retirement age should be raised to 75 for all judges in the UK, however as
the data below shows most judges’ mandatory retirement age is 70.
summary of the legal issue:
benefits and drawbacks of raising retirement age of judges to 75.
11th January 2018