The High Court of Australia has ultimate responsibility for interpreting the
Constitution in an independent manner. Given this responsibility, how adequate are the current processes and principles of appointment of High Court judges?
It’s good to give your paper a title, one that indicates your position
The Governor-General is given the power to appoint judges to the
Australian High Court and other courts by the Australian Constitution.1 However, the process for the appointment of High Court judges is not as simple as it first appears to be. The issues of separation of powers, judicial independence,
? must be considered in determining
representation and equality all influence whether or not the current process of the appointment of High Court Judges is adequate. The questions ‘Is the current system of appointing High Court judges, and indeed any judge adequate?’ and ‘If
Australia’s appointment methods are inadequate, what are the alternatives?’ will be considered. These are not the set questions! (There are no marks for answering different questions.) Also, this reformulation of the topic has missed an essential element – the need for judicial independence in
The before-mentioned issues will be discussed after a brief consideration of the role of the High Court and the formal and informal processes of the of ? powerful
appointment judges to Australia’s most empowered court.2 This essay will examine the history and role of the High Court, the separation of powers, the appointment
Focus should be: adequacy of judicial appointment process given the HC’s responsibility for
See AGLC Rule 1.4.2 re formatting of heading levels
You can assume a legally trained reader – therefore much of this would be known. You would only include this kind of information if essential to the argument (not the case here) and dismissal of judges, and the desired traits of High Court judges. The main focus of the essay is the adequacy of the appointment process in Australia. Finally, some alternative methods of appointment and the key issues of gender and minority representation will be analysed.
The High Court: Preliminary Information
The High Court was established in 1903 after the Constitution gave the authorisation for its creation in 1901.3 In section 71 of the Australian Constitution, the Parliament is also given the power to determine the number of Justices in the
High Court. There must be one Chief Justice, and a minimum of two other
Justices.4 The Parliament is afforded the discretion to determine the number of
Australian Constitution s 72 (i).
Australian Constitution s 73.
Daryl Williams, ‘Judicial Independence and the High Court’ (1998) 27 University of Western
Australia Law Review 140, 140, and Australian Constitution s 71.
Australian Constitution s 71.
What’s your argument?
You need to state your position in the introduction Research Essay 2,000 words: Satisfactory
other Justices; currently there are a total of seven Justices in the High Court.5 There were originally three High Court judges.6 In 1906 the Parliament increased this to five judges, then in 1912 this was expanded to seven judges, and it has remained so
until the present day – with the exception of the period during the Depression7 when the number of judges restricted to six members.8 Although the number of judges in the High Court is determined by the Parliament, it should not be – and is not – argued that this discretion given to the Parliament interferes with the
This is where you need to start discussion regarding adequacy of procedures separation of powers. Instead, it is the characteristics of the judges that are appointed and the process under which they are appointed which determine whether such procedures are adequate.
The Functions of the High Court
Again, this is known by your reader – how does it contribute to