Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Executive Council (a council of State Ministers including the Premier) from the ranks of barristers and solicitors who have at least 10 years’ standing in their profession.
Judges are addressed as “Your Honour” during court proceedings. They have a personal staff of three – an associate, executive assistant and attendant.
Judges wear black robes in court for both criminal and civil matters. They also wear bench wigs for criminal matters, but not for civil matters.
The bench of the Supreme Court currently consists of the Chief Justice and five other judges, known as “puisne judges”. This is an Anglo-French term meaning subordinate and pronounced “puny”.
Associate Judge (previously the Master)
The Associate Judge is appointed by the Governor in the same manner as a judge. The Associate Judge assists the judges in conducting the civil jurisdiction of the Court. For instance, he/she deals with interlocutory, that is procedural, applications in civil matters before they come on for trial; and can make assessments of damages in civil cases.