New Zealand Law Society

Navigation menu

Visiting Chancellor of High Court of England and Wales to give his view on judicial independence

18 October 2017

Judges of the Courts act independent of Government and must be free to determine each case according to the law.

On Thursday evening at Victoria University Sir Geoffrey Vos, who is the Chancellor of the High Court of England and Wales will discuss the limits of, and threats to judicial independence at a public lecture being held at the Faculty of Law in Wellington.

He’ll give his views on contentious topics such as whether governments are justified when they suggest that judges need only be independent in their actual decision-making.

Whether judges are justified in saying that they need to be able to decide how and when they decide their cases without government interference in judicial administration, and how can judges and judicial systems reach a state of being appropriately independent.

Sir Geoffrey will discuss two recent surveys of judges across Europe, one of which surveyed 11,700 judges in 24 countries. He’ll crunch the results regarding judicial corruption, improper pressures on judges from senior judges, government, media and social media, and the appointment and promotion of judges. 

Sir Geoffrey will present his conclusions from the results, and then consider the proper boundaries of judicial independence.

The Rt. Hon. Sir Geoffrey Vos was appointed as Chancellor of the High Court of England and Wales in 2016. He was President of the European Network for Councils of the Judiciary from 2015 to 2016.

He was appointed as a Justice of the High Court assigned to the Chancery Division in 2009, and knighted the same year. In 2013 he was appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal in England and Wales, and became a member of the Privy Council.

Sir Geoffrey was Chairman of the European Committee of the Judges’ Council between 2011 and 2016, and has been a trustee of the Slynn Foundation since 2009.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019