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Are judges independent

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Introduction

Are judges independent? A power passed by a French political theorist called Montesquieu states "that there are three primary functions of the state and that the only way to safeguard the liberty of the citizens is by keeping these here functions separate." The three main powers that ach group has is; 1. The legislature. This is the law-making area of the state or In England the Parliament. 2. The executive or the body administering the law. Under the British political system this is the government of the day which forms the Cabinet. 3. The judiciary who apply the law. The judges Independent and separate bodies can check on each others powers and this will limit the amount of power each group will have. The ministers forming government also sit in Parliament and are active in law making decisions process these members are also part of the Legislative and executive area of the governing body of the country. ...read more.

Middle

Judges are protected by the outside pressure when exercising their judicial functions. These are; 1. The payment they receive doesn't need the governments authorisation giving the a certain degree of financial independence but this does not protect them completely from the government as changes in the retirement ages and qualifying periods for pensions means they can still interfere with judges. 2. To ensure that they are independent government decision making is in Sirrors v Moore (1975). This case meant that judges were given immunity from being sued for actions taken or decisions made in the course of their judicial duties. 3. The security of the time that a superior judge serves is protected from the treat of removal. Professor Griffith pointed out that "judges are too pro- established and conservative with a small 'c'". This suggesting that the judiciary is not as independent as it would like us to believe. ...read more.

Conclusion

The court of Appeal agreed with this decision although they didn't suggest how the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security act 2001 could be changed to be made compatible with human rights. Judges, having a duty to interpret laws in a way which is compatible with European convention, had to interpret an act and the effect was not what the government had intended. This means that they are prepared to challenge the government and this establishment. I believe that judges in the superior courts are independent from the government as they are not susceptible to the threat of dismissal although the laws to retirement age can affect the way they use their judicial powers. They are also allowed to sit in the House of Lords in its judicial capacity and argue for or against a new law that may affect people's human rights. Inferior judges I believe are not independent because they can be threatened with dismissal and the Lord Chancellor can over rule them in some cases. They are also under a lot of pressure from the government and the House of Commons. ...read more.

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