Integrity of the legal system

Separation of powers

  • A way of preventing the concentration of unchecked public power in the hands of a single group
  • Creates limits to political and legal power
  • At the same time, ensures each arm is able to check and balance the other

Judicial independence

  • Principle of separation of powers
Key features:
  • Westminster system – judiciary is the independent arm of the Constitution and should be removed from external influence
  • Judges are free from interference and intimidation by external forces, including Parliament
  • Subsequent Acts¬†of Parliament cannot overturn court decisions (Parl can only operate in futuro as opposed to ex post facto)
  • Judges have tenure and can only be removed in extraordinary circumstances (s 72 – proved misbehaviour/incapacity). Also, salary cannot be decreased.

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