Independent Judiciary

By: Amina, Harley, Ajla and Irma

Significance and Purpose:

Judicial Independence is the principle that the judiciary branch needs to be kept away from the other branches of government; followed by this principle, the courts should not be inclined to unprofessional influence from the other branches. This concept is also very important for it serves a purpose and it's needed when it comes to the idea of the separation of powers as in what the enlightenment philosopher Montesquieu created or believed in (checks and balances).

Historical Info :

Different countries work with the idea of judicial independence in different ways by the choosing of judges. An example in which was traced all the way back to the 18th century in England to advocate Judicial Independence by giving a life time in the position or long time in the position (appointments) to the judge, which frees judges to the cases of their choosing and make rulings according to the rule of law even if they are not popular politically at that moment.


Article III of the constitution states that federal judges can hold their positions, ‘‘during good behavior.’’ If a federal judge does so they have lifetime to serve in their position as long as they fit the needs of the fair and legal standards of their judicial office. Another part of Article III states that, "the legislative and executive branches cannot combine to punish judges by decreasing payments for their services," which clearly states that branches cannot lower a judges payment amount.

Historical Example:

Hong Kong is a great example of the representation of the topic of judiciary independence because their judiciary has been around since the territory became a British crown colony in 1842. After the 1997 transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China pursuant to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a treaty registered with the United Nations, independence of the judiciary, also with continuation of English common law, has been sacred in the area's constitutional document, the Basic Law. Just like Hong Kong the U.S kept the idea of independent judiciary throughout it's government and in its way of the separation of powers. We see this government has a similarity to the U.S. by the way the branches are regulated.

Current Example:

In 2013 Pakistan corruption was created from low-level judges, for political bias was believed to influenced the outcome of politically sensitive cases. If this was ever attempted, the U.S. would see this situation as unconstitutional for it taints the idea of judicial independence, unless the judges and the branch actually stood by what they believed in, and not by the influences of other branches. This situation is the opposite of a independent judiciary.


Image 1: Shows that the judge is still balanced even with all those items

Image 2: This image shows that the judicial branch which is the women is practically ignoring the other two branches/men who are trying to influence her on a decision. This picture represents a small concept of an independent judiciary.

Citations: 13 June 2014. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <>

Wheeler, Russell. "Judicial Independence in the United States: Current Issues and Relevant Background Information." Russel Wheeler. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <$file/JudIndep.pdf>.

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