SUPPORTERS of a mandatory register of interest for judges look to Norway for a workable model.

The Scandinavian country’s “register of extra-judicial activities” applies to judges and, according to the official courts website, has the purpose of ensuring “full openness”.

Registrable interests include investments in companies over a certain value, as well as honorary posts in associations, societies, organisations and political parties with over 100 members.

Being part of organisations like the Freemasons has to be declared, as does employment in private or public sector companies. A judge must also state his last position before being appointed to the judicial role.

Some exemptions apply, including membership of religious communities and non-profit organisations. Details of one-off lectures are also not part of the declaration system.

The register is a public document, which currently runs to 1073 pages, and any member of the public can search the contents

Peter Cherbi, a campaigner for transparency in the judiciary, said: “The Norwegian model for a register of judicial interests is a good model for Scotland to adopt, and improve upon.

“We are talking about the most powerful people in the land, who can take away someone's liberty, make rulings affecting a person's livelihood and overturn legislation, therefore the highest level of transparency must be applied to those in the judiciary who occupy such positions.”