Contemporary Challenges Facing The Australian Judiciary: An Empirical Interruption

Melbourne University Law Review, Vol 42(2):299-369

U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2020-59

72 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2020

See all articles by Suzanne M. Le Mire

Suzanne M. Le Mire

University of Adelaide - School of Law

Gabrielle J. Appleby

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Andrew Lynch

University of New South Wales

Brian Opeskin

University of Technology Sydney

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 18, 2020

Abstract

The structures that regulate and support the Australian judiciary reflect and serve the traditional judicial values of independence, impartiality and the rule of law. Yet modern society places emphasis on an additional range of values that are expected of government and public institutions. These contemporary values include diversity, transparency, accountability and efficiency. Reforms to introduce regulatory and support structures that prioritise and facilitate these values in the judicial arm has proved challenging and, sometimes, contentious. This article reports on a survey of Australian judicial officers (n = 142) from across different jurisdictions. Participants were asked what they considered to be the most pressing challenges that face the various levels of the Australian judiciary, and whether the current regulatory and support environment achieves international best practice. The responses provide a nuanced picture of the state of the modern Australian judiciary as it appears to those within it. The study facilitates an understanding of the degree to which judicial officers are satisfied with the current legal and regulatory framework and, where they are dissatisfied, the nature of their disquiet. While not seeking to offer complete resolutions to the many issues canvassed, the data and analysis presented in this article serve as an interruption to regulatory and academic studies of the Australian judiciary, with the potential to illuminate and re-orientate the reform conversation in light of the judicial perspective on these various issues.

Keywords: Australian Judiciary

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Le Mire, Suzanne M. and Appleby, Gabrielle J. and Lynch, Andrew and Opeskin, Brian, Contemporary Challenges Facing The Australian Judiciary: An Empirical Interruption (June 18, 2020). Melbourne University Law Review, Vol 42(2):299-369, U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2020-59, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3629959

Suzanne M. Le Mire (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Ligertwood Building
Adelaide 5005, South Australia SA 5005
Australia

Gabrielle J. Appleby

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unsw.edu.au/profile/gabrielle-appleby

Andrew Lynch

University of New South Wales ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney NSW 2052
Australia

Brian Opeskin

University of Technology Sydney ( email )

Faculty of Law
University of Technology Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales 2007
Australia
+61-2-95149670 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uts.edu.au/staff/brian.opeskin

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