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A life tenure or service during good behaviour is a term of office that lasts for the office holder's lifetime, unless the office holder is removed from office for cause under misbehaving in office, extraordinary circumstances or decides personally to resign.
Some judges and members of upper chambers (e.g., senators for life) have life tenure. The primary goal of life tenure is to insulate the officeholder from external pressures. Certain heads of state, such as monarchs and presidents for life, are also given life tenure. United States federal judges have life tenure once appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
In some cases, life tenure lasts only until a mandatory retirement age. For example, Canadian senators are appointed for life, but are forced to retire at 75. Likewise, many judges, including Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, have life tenure but must retire at 75.
Life tenure also exists in various religious organizations. The Pope, as the Bishop of Rome and leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, has life tenure, but other Catholic bishops are required to submit their resignations at age 75.
- Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution of United States (June 21, 1788)
- Oliver, Philip D. (2012). "Assessing and Addressing the Problems Caused by Life Tenure on the Supreme Court". The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process. 13 (1): 11–32 – via Bowen Law Repository.
- Saikrishna Prakash & Steven D. Smith, "How To Remove a Federal Judge" Archived 2012-04-15 at the Wayback Machine, 116 Yale L.J. 72 (2006).
- Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993
- "Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993: Section 26", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1993 c. 8 (s. 26), retrieved 31 July 2023
- Canon 401 §1