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General / Thematic: The Individual Judge

Editorial

Author

Zoe Graus

An independent judiciary is seen as a hallmark of a successful democracy and of the operation of the rule of law.[footnote* Sir Gerard Brennan, ‘Judicial Independence’ (Speech delivered at the Australian Judicial Conference Australian National University, Canberra, 2 November 1996). The principle has received almost universal acknowledgment. Notably, Article 1 of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary requires that all governments ensure judicial independence is achieved and observed: Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, UN Doc A/CONF.121/22/Rev.1 (26 August – 6 September 1985) principle 1. ] Since federation, the maintenance of the impartiality and independence of the judiciary has been critical to an effective separation of powers in Australia.[footnote* Justice J A Dowsett, ‘The Australian Judges – Who do They Think They Are?’ (Speech delivered at the Centre for European Studies Conference, Reappraising the Judicial Role –European and Australian Comparative Perspectives, Australian National University, Canberra, 14 February 2011) <http://www.fedcourt.gov.au/digital-law-library/judges-speeches/justice-dowsett/dowsett-j-20110214>.]

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