Judges therefore should always be men of … exemplary morals, great patience, calmness and attention.

—John Adams. Thoughts on Government, 1776.

Litigants will only accept the judgments of the court if they are satisfied with the integrity of the judge who decides their case and judges in general. It is therefore vital that the judges maintain the highest integrity, be unswayed by emotion, be devotees of legal reasoning and slavish followers of precedent.

Weak people are unsuitable for judicial appointment, being susceptible to bribery and easily swayed by emotion leading to biased judgments. An excellent requirement is that judicial candidates be over forty years of age. By this age thought processes have become settled, principles determined, and the edge has worn off many harmful passions and prejudices. Moreover, by the age of forty candidates will have established enough of a track record for their future course and temperament to be predicted with some degree of confidence.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove