Judicial Review

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The United Kingdom as the Most Democratic Country

Anthony Giddens, a sociologist and author, defines democracy as having three core components, “democracy exists where you have a multiparty system with political parties competing with one another, free and non-corrupt voting procedures to elect political leaders, and an effective legal framework of civil liberties or human rights that underlie the mechanisms of voting processes” (Lever). Democracy is a form of government where the supreme power is vested in the people and is exercised directly by the people or by its elected agents. Countries such as Japan, the United States’, and the United Kingdom, all have democratic forms of government. Judicial review is a part of democracy where a higher level court can review cases involving laws and make those laws invalid. It is an important part of the checks and balances in a democracy to limit power. Through the power of judicial review, the Court is charged with assuring citizens’ individual rights as guaranteed to them. Judicial review is important for democracy, but on the other hand, some feel as though judicial review is undemocratic. Although the United States was the first country to practice judicial review, the United Kingdom possesses the most democratic judicial system.

Judicial review has many positive benefits and is significant to a country’s judiciary. In the case of Marbury vs. Madison, decided by the John Marshall Court in America in 1803, officials argued that the court system, as a whole, and the Supreme Court, which is the top court of the land, has the power to decide if a government law, regulation or action was Constitutional because the court system is the place where all legal matters are decided. Judicial review legitimizes the government’s actions that are protected by the courts and helps maintain the supremacy of the Constitution of a country. It helps to temper radical extremism in political parties that obtain a...
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