It is no wonder at all that there is a shortage of immigration judges. I was one of them.
For a long time judges in this jurisdiction have effectively been required to do more and more for less and less. To add insult to injury, fee-paid judges are now paid on a points basis, and they have thereby become little more than piece rate workers on a production line.
Reduced pay and poor morale impact upon commitment and enthusiasm, quite apart from the way in which the system treats fee-paid judges in particular.
An example in point relates to bail lists. My resident senior immigration judge told everyone in her region that judges did not have to do bails if they did not wish to. When, without any consultation, judges were suddenly required to do seven (previously six) bails to obtain the full fee I sought to opt out, only to be told by the resident judge that in that case ‘we
will not be able to give you
any bookings’. Treated like a second-rate employee in a third-rate organisation? Volte-face? You may think so, although I would use more robust language.
Finally, if the Ministry of Justice thinks that there are sufficient judicial resources to cope with the caseload they are manifestly not living in the real world. But, of course, this is the MoJ.
Dr SJ Pacey, North Muskham, Notts