A state official with power to adjudicate on disputes and other matters brought before the courts for decision. In English law all judges are appointed by the Monarch, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor in the case of circuit judges and High Court puisne judges and on the advice of the Prime Minister in the case of judges of the Court of Appeal and the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary. All judges are experienced legal practitioners. The independence of the higher judiciary is ensured by the principle that they hold office during good behaviour and not at the pleasure of the Crown (with the exception of the Lord Chancellor). They can only be removed from office by a resolution of both Houses of Parliament assented to by the Queen. Their salaries are a charge on the Consolidated Fund and are not voted annually. Circuit judges may be removed by the Lord Chancellor for incapacity or misbehaviour. All judicial appointments are pensionable and there is a compulsory retirement age of 70 years, but this can be extended to 75 if considered to be in the public interest. See also judicial immunity. Compare magistrate.