Why Is the Equal Merit Principle (Almost) Straightforwardly Wrong?

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This article challenges the ‘Equal Merit Principle’, introduced to the judicial appointment process by the Crime and Courts Act 2013. The author argues that this principle does not take diversity seriously enough and none of its possible justifications stand up to close scrutiny. The author also claims that the doctrine that judges should be appointed solely on the basis of merit is either wrong, for the very same reasons as the Equal Merit Principle, or rather uninformative because it fails to give sufficient guidance to those who select judges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1052-1072
Number of pages20
JournalModern Law Review
Issue number6
Early online date20 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • judicial appointments
  • merit in judicial appointments
  • equal merit
  • judicial diversity
  • Constitutional Reform Act 2005
  • Crime and Courts Act 2013


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