Access to justice is a necessary right of each citizen. Federal courts are critical in dispensing justice. Magistrates and judges serving in the federal courts should be qualified individuals who are well versed with the law to facilitate access to justice. Therefore, qualifications, including the longevity of one’s practice, are critical issues that affect an individual’s appointment as a magistrate or judge. Moreover, there exists a presumed nexus between longevity and qualification. An individual who has practiced longer is more conversant and familiar with the system and its operation. However, I can’t entirely agree with the proposition concerning the full term service of a magistrate or judge in the federal court. The reason being society keeps evolving, and so does the law. Personal opinions or stands are formed over time, and there is a need to accommodate new and divergent views in the courts. Therefore, magistrates and judges should have fixed terms of service where they resign to create room for others after the expiry of the period.
William G. Ross, The Hazards of Proposals to Limit the Tenure of Federal Judges and to Permit Judicial Removal without impeachment, 35 Vill. L. Rev. 1063 (1990).
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