In the state of Israel, new judges (at all levels) are appointed by a committee of 9 people, including 2 members of parliament, 2 representatives from the ministry of justice, and 2 representatives from the bar association, in addition to 3 supreme court justices. In order for a new judge to be approved, a majority of 7 members have to vote for them, effectively giving the 3 judges (who consistently vote as a bloc) the ability to veto any appointment they disagree with, thus the statement that the judges appoint each other.
Are there any other countries where this is also true, even if it's using some other system?

3 Answers 3


Judicial appointments in England and Wales (plus courts that cover the whole of the UK) are made by the Judicial Appointments Commission. This was set up in 2006 to improve the separation of powers in the UK, removing the ability of a government to select sympathetic judges.

The committee comprises

...the judiciary, the legal profession, non-legally qualified judicial office holders and the public.

So it could be said that judges in the UK are to some extent self-selecting, but the commission responsible also has members who are not judges.

  • 1
    Can the committee select someone without any support from the representatives of the judiciary?
    – Roy
    Jun 1, 2015 at 17:06
  • @Roy 5 out of 15 members must be from the judiciary, and the chairman must be a layperson, so the answer appears to be yes.
    – Flup
    Jun 1, 2015 at 17:11

In Italy, to become a magistrato (judges and prosecutor) you have to pass a pubblic examination, managed by an examination commission composed mostly by senior magistrati, plus a few law University professors, plus a couple of members of the bar. The commission itself is named by the Ministro di Giustizia (italian attorney general, a strictly political member of the Cabinet), but after a proposal by the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura, which is a body for the self-governance of the Magistratura, elected by the Magistrati themselves. So, you may say that in Italy Judges appoint themselves.

I believe this is a framework which was somehow taken from France.

(It is different for the Supreme Court, whose members are named by the italian Congress).


In Germany, the exact procedure depends on the level of government where the judges are appointed:

  • Judges at the state (Bundesland) level (which are most judges) are chosen by the ministry of justice of the state in question, similar to other civil servants.

  • Judges at the federal level (Bundesrichter) are elected by a council (Richterwahlausschuss). The details vary by the type of judges elected, but usually the council consists of either members of parliament, or people elected by parliament. Judges for the constitutional court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) are elected directly by parliament.

So sitting judges are not directly involved in the selection of new judges.

There is limited involvement: Courts have councils of judges (Präsidialrat), elected by the judges of the respective court. These councils must be heard before the appointment of a new judge (Deutsches Richtergesetz §55). However, they cannot appoint or even propose a new judge, they can only oppose a proposed appointment.

  • who, how appoints Prosecutors (/Public Attorneys)?
    – mario
    May 2, 2016 at 9:26
  • @mario: That's a nice question. Consider asking it via the "Ask Question" link :-).
    – sleske
    May 2, 2016 at 9:28
  • done!
    – mario
    May 2, 2016 at 13:19

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