International Standards for the Independence of the Judiciary

The Center for Constitutional Transitions at NYU Law & Democracy Reporting International Briefing Papers (with R. Stacey) (2013)

14 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2017

See all articles by Sujit Choudhry

Sujit Choudhry

Center for Global Constitutionalism, WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Richard Stacey

University of Toronto, Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

The independence of the judiciary gives concrete expression to two essential elements of democracy, namely the rule of law and the separation of powers. In a constitutional democracy, the political process and any state function must take place within the confines of the law. Judges are tasked to uphold the rule of law. To ensure that they do so without improper influence, they must be independent from the executive and legislative branch of power. Their role for democracy is particularly important in safeguarding human rights. Under international law the following working definition of judicial independence can be discerned: an independent judiciary must (a) be impartial; (b) approach cases in an unbiased manner; (c) display no prejudice; (d) be politically independent; and (e) operate without fear. This Briefing Paper sets out international standards for judicial independence.

Suggested Citation

Choudhry, Sujit and Stacey, Richard, International Standards for the Independence of the Judiciary (2013). The Center for Constitutional Transitions at NYU Law & Democracy Reporting International Briefing Papers (with R. Stacey) (2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3025990

Sujit Choudhry (Contact Author)

Center for Global Constitutionalism, WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany

Richard Stacey

University of Toronto, Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

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