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The Dual Rationale of Judicial Independence


Fabien Gelinas


McGill University

March 23, 2011

CONSTITUTIONAL MYTHOLOGIES: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON CONTROLLING THE STATE, Alain Marciano, ed., New York: Springer, 2011

Abstract:     
This paper considers the rationale of judicial independence in constitutional discourse. A look at the expression of this principle in normative instruments of various periods and sources shows how the universal requirement of independent adjudicators, which aims at ensuring justice in particular cases, and the widely shared desideratum of a powerful judiciary with “a will of its own”, aimed at checking the exercise of power by the political branches, provide two distinct and largely independent grounds for protecting judicial independence. These grounds overlap in many respects but must be distinguished in order satisfactorily to work out the detailed requirements of independence in particular scenarios. This has become pressing in the current context where adjudication is more and more often entrusted to tribunals whose members are not part of an institutionalized judiciary and where the state itself is more generally losing ground in the governance of human affairs.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: Judicial Independence, Independence of the Judiciary, Independent Tribunal, Adjudicative Independence, Natural Justice, Nemo Judex, Nemo Iudex, Roman Law, Separation of Powers, Montesquieu, Madison, Coke, Rule of Law, International Rule of Law, ECHR

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Date posted: February 18, 2011 ; Last revised: March 27, 2011

Suggested Citation

Gelinas, Fabien, The Dual Rationale of Judicial Independence (March 23, 2011). CONSTITUTIONAL MYTHOLOGIES: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON CONTROLLING THE STATE, Alain Marciano, ed., New York: Springer, 2011 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1761436

Contact Information

Fabien Gelinas (Contact Author)
McGill University ( email )
3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada
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