I read with interest your article on Lord Justice Jackson having to retire because he turns 70. I have been in practice as a solicitor since 1962 and, now well past 70, am thankfully healthy and enjoying my work. Being self-employed I am not subject to any compulsory retirement age. My late father retired at 85 having been in continuous practice as a solicitor for 60 years.
I also read a recent Guardian article where Lord Neuberger called for an increase in the upper age limit to 75 to reduce problems in recruiting Crown court and High Court judges.
My wife, who passed 70 last year, was also forced to retire as a magistrate, although she has now been advised that there is a shortage of magistrates. Why is the upper age limit of a magistrate not increased to 75?
Recently, the Judicial Appointments Commission warned that vacancies for Crown court and High Court judges were increasingly left unfilled because of a shortage of suitably qualified applicants. Six High Court posts could not be filled and the commission is looking for up to 140 new Crown court judges.
It is also interesting that the eligible age for jury members was raised from 70 to 75 last year.
I hope the Ministry of Justice and the Lords Constitution Committee are seriously considering a revision of the upper age limit for the judiciary to 75.
John C Miller, partner, Miller Clayton, Stanmore