Judicial Independence as a Political Argument

Law and Courts Newsletter, Summer 2011

4 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2011 Last revised: 2 Jun 2013

Date Written: June 5, 2011


This short thought piece explores how judicial independence is a political concept that is employed by political actors for different reasons in different political contexts. Scholars should turn some attention to how "judicial independence" as a political term can be used to make arguments for and against political and institutional changes in order to secure or protect policy gains from the judicial branch. It is hypothesized that some political actors might rely on judicial independence to protect a policy created by like-minded judicial actors in one political environment only to abandon judicial independence language when courts make rulings contrary to their interests. The shifting nature of judicial independence during different political eras may help scholars understand the political foundations of judicial independence.

Keywords: judicial independence, political change, court curbing

Suggested Citation

Hartley, Roger E., Judicial Independence as a Political Argument (June 5, 2011). Law and Courts Newsletter, Summer 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1858109

Roger E. Hartley (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore ( email )

Baltimore, MD 21214
United States
828-458-0944 (Phone)

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