REMOVAL OF JUDGES IN THE COMMONWEALTH – AN EXPLAINER
Removal of judges from office is a serious form of judicial accountability. As such, international instruments, and declarations on the independence of the judiciary have expressed three principles on the substantive grounds for removal of judges. Firstly, the grounds of removal must be apparent, secondly, judges should only be removed on grounds of incapacity or misconduct and thirdly there must be grave misconduct warranting the removal of a judge. Around the world, there are a few types of removal mechanisms of judges in the higher courts. The most common type of removal mechanism is by ad hoc tribunal or parliament. Most commonwealth countries, including Malaysia, have adopted the ad hoc tribunal system. This article provides an overview of the different types of removal mechanisms adopted by commonwealth countries in removing judges from the higher courts, in particular the United Kingdom, South Africa and Malaysia.