Judicial Independence Essay

967 words - 4 pages

Judicial independence plays an important role in sustaining an effective democratic system in Australia. It is the key principle that ensures our nation’s Separation of Powers is controlled and managed.

The judicial arm within the Separation of Powers performs possibly the most important role in our system of government. They act as a supervisor over the legislature and the executive, providing a method of checks and balances to ensure that the Separation of Powers avoids corruption and manipulation. This is also the reason that the judiciary must be independent. An independent judicial arm means that all judges and administration are free from interference from outside sources. This ...view middle of the document...

The final principle is judicial privilege. Judicial privilege is very similar to parliamentary privilege in that judges must be free to say what they need to while presiding in court, meaning they cannot be sued for defamation or threatened by criminal prosecution. Without these four principles, judicial independence would simply not exist and our court system would be subject to potential corruption.

The Rule of Law in Australia supports the fundamental principles that all legal entities are equal before the law and all individuals have basic human rights and freedoms . There are three elements that must exist to facilitate the Rule of Law: the supremacy of constitutional law; equality before the law; and the existence of fundamental human rights . When exploring judicial independence, it is more suitable to focus on the latter two elements. Firstly, the government must exercise their powers so that everyone is considered equal before the law and that no section of society or any individual is discriminated against. If the Prime Minister were to commit a crime, although they are in high power within the nation, they would have the same trial process as everyone else and, if found guilty, would be punished according to same laws. This equality is important in protecting the existence of everyone’s basic human rights. Once again, the government must not introduce laws that restrict the rights of any individuals, or remove these rights. For example, the presumption of innocence is absolute, meaning that no one can be punished for committing an offence without being proven guilty at a trial according to the law. If basic human rights like this were to be removed, the State would have too much power over individuals in society and would be contradictory to our democratic system. Without judicial independence preserving the Rule of Law, trials would be at the liberty of ministerial interference and just outcomes would be seriously...

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