The Dynamics of Judicial Independence
Judicial independence lies at the heart of a well-functioning and impartial judiciary and is the cornerstone of a system based on the separation of powers and the rule of law.
A professional, independent and effective judiciary is not only an important pillar to rule of law, but also a key leverage for positive socio-economic development, long-term investment, innovation and stability.
Time and again, governments have not been pleased by decisions of courts, which have contravened their political interests, and which have put limits to governmental actions. Time and again a variety of means have been applied to influence jurisdiction towards certain political interests. And, not surprising to legal experts, structural deficiencies in the legal framework and creative ways of using them, have favored these practices.
Only judges who are insulated from outside intimidation and pressure can fairly administer justice as well as guarantee oversight to ensure that the other branches of the government do not exceed their powers, can declare acts contrary to the constitution void, and can protect the citizen’s rights and liberties.
Taking from experience and lessons learned in the MENA region and Europe, The Rule of Law Programme Middle East North Africa in cooperation with Maison du Futur, in a workshop on “Undue influence on the judiciary - and how to protect judges against it” will analyze the Dynamics of Judicial Independence.
Judges from the MENA region and Europe will analyze and compare different options that countries have adopted to protect the individual judge against undue influence or pressure, and to what avail.
This will allow to discern which means and mechanisms have proven effective, and under which conditions, and which have not. The aim is to provide an overview of the framework and practice on structural guarantees for continuous professional independence of judges.
The analysis and discussion will concentrate on several key aspects of functional, jurisdictional and personal independence, comparing the regulatory framework and practice in Lebanon, the region and beyond. The workshop will focus on appointment procedures and tenure, the promotion system, transfer and dismissal, deliberation processes, hierarchy in courts, expression of dissent, extra-jurisdictional activities and remuneration.