What makes a good judge?

Unless you’ve managed to avoid the news for the last few weeks, you’ll have heard a lot of discussion around the appointment of the new US Supreme Court Judge, which after much rancorous debate, seems to have finally been approved, although many Americans seems to still be unhappy with the choice.

The hearings and subsequent FBI investigation into his past have veered from accusations of sexual misconduct to his consumption of beer as a student and I suspect many of us have been left wondering why some of these subjects were deemed relevant to his appointment.

So, what does make a good judge?

Well, co-incidentally, I was approached yesterday through Linked In to see if I would like to be a judge in some forthcoming UK business awards.  I have to confess, I was quite flattered by the suggestion that my business experience and marketing expertise was considered suitable to make me a good judge of other businesses.

I followed up the enquiry, did some digging and found that as a judge, I would also be featured in the promotional materials for the awards which sounded good too.

Then I found the ‘sting in the tail’ – the fee for judging is £299.  No, that’s not what the judges get paid, that’s what the judges pay the organisers to be a judge!

I’m not suggesting they would let just anyone be a judge, but to me there’s something wrong with judges paying to get the job. Being selected as a judge should be an accolade, just as much as winning an award.  When all of this acknowledgement is more about the depth of your pockets than what you and your business has actually achieved it undermines every award and judge and we all lose out.