Judicial Independence and the Politics of Depoliticization
37 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2009
Date Written: March 21, 2009
The power and legitimacy of judges are anchored in the public's trust - the public's perception of and faith in their ability to decide impartially and disinterestedly, shielded from inappropriate external influences and political pressures. Accordingly, certain rules and understandings must be in place for the purpose of insulating the judiciary from politicization and protecting it from both the reality and the appearance of improper influence by government or disputants. These rules and understandings take multiple forms the most recognisable of which are the written provisions of the constitution, provincial and federal legislation, constitutional conventions and unwritten principle. The aim of this paper is to untangle the main strands of judicial independence as we find it in Canada, and to put the recent developments in the Supreme Court appointments process in the critical perspective of the normative uncertainties and political rhetoric surrounding change.
Keywords: Judicial Independence, Independence of the Judiciary, Separation of Power, Security of Tenure, Financial Security, Remuneration Reference, Compensation Reference, Remuneration Commission, Compensation Commission, Administrative Independence, Administrative Autonomy, Court Administra
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