Judicial Independence

Topics: Separation of powers, Human rights, Law Pages: 3 (819 words) Published: May 20, 2006
The British Constitution and Judicial Independence
One of the basic principles of the British Constitution is judicial independence . Simply explained, this means that judges, in making their decisions, must not be influenced or coerced by outside forces (History Learning Site). This independence is assured by several safeguards which include fiscal autonomy, independent selection, and security of tenure. The purpose of these is to ensure that judges will render fair and impartial decisions without fear or favor. Judges must be protected from any and all outside influence that could tarnish the possibility of a strict and impartial judicial process. This can not be emphasized enough. The people need a court that they can rely on to solve their legal problems in accordance with the law and the proper procedure. However, the government structure of the United Kingdom posed a very serious problem. The three powers of government: Legislative (the power to create law), Executive (the power to enforce law), and Judicial (the power to interpret the law) were too closely intertwined and, too often, possessed by the same individuals. In effect, the UK was experiencing a situation where the guarantee of impartial justice was, at best, shaky. Something had to be done to strengthen the independence of the judiciary. That something was the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005.

The Constitutional Reform Act of 2005 (2005 Chapter 4)
The Constitutional Reform Act of 2005 strengthens judicial independence by taking away judicial power from the office of the Lord Chancellor and vesting it upon a proper independent body called the Supreme Court. This piece of legislation was greatly motivated by the demands of the European Convention on Human Rights which clamored for a separate and independent judiciary (Wikipedia). Before this act was passed, the Lord Chancellor possessed executive, legislative and judicial power. A setup like this can be considered a great opportunity for...
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