JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE: SOME RECENT PROBLEMS

Geoffery Robertson QC

Abstract


Judicial Independence is fundamental to democracy, and lip-service is paid to it by most states. However, it is a fragile reed, beset by problems of political appointments, government favours to compliant judges, prosecution powers over the court (especially in former Soviet countries) and the potential, in Anglo-American countries, for misuse of the removal process of impeachment by populist politicians. This article considers recent examples, and a further problem of funding justice at a time of austerity. It argues that much closer attention must be paid to protecting judicial independence, and suggests ways of naming and shaming the “lickspittle judge”.

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