The Judiciary Of A Liberal Democracy Essay

1943 Words Nov 29th, 2016 8 Pages
The judiciary is one of the three branches of government; however, it is not directly or indirectly elected, unlike the executive and legislature. At face value, this may indicate that the judiciary is wholly undemocratic, as it holds a great deal of power which lacks input from the will of the people. Democracy is by definition “of the people, by the people, for the people”. However, in practice, the judiciary is influenced both directly by the people and by the other elected branches of government. The vast majority of its decisions are not creating law, but merely enforcing the will of the other branches of government. Furthermore, it conforms to the standards of a liberal democracy by protecting minority and individual rights from the other branches of government. On the other hand, judges are often used as political tools, through a politicised appointment process and the executive putting pressure on the judiciary to make decisions favorable to them, which they arguably do not have the democratic legitimacy to do.

The judiciary does not assume the same role as the executive or legislature. It is seen as a ‘neutral’ or politically independent part of government, not influenced by party politics. In Chief Justice John Robert’s nomination speech, he famously said ‘The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.’ In fact, judges often make decisions…

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