Posted by / Wednesday 21 September 2016 / No comments

How to ensure Judicial Independence in a country

Judicial independence refers to a situation where judges are allowed to do their work without any fear of interference from any of the other arms of government or from any quarters whatsoever. By their independence, it is meant that they ensure impartiality in the administration of justice.
How judges are recruited
One of the ways of ensuring judicial independence is the way the judges are recruited and appointed. Normally, the judges are appointed by the executive arm of government but under the recommendation of an independent body such as Judicial Council.

Immunity of prosecution
Another means by which the independence of the judiciary is ensured is to give them immunity from prosecution for acts committed in the process of carrying out their assigned functions. In other words, the judges can never suffer any punishment for any judgment given as they play their assigned role of administering justice.

Political neutrality
Another way of ensuring judicial independence is to make them politically neutral. The judges must be barred from taking part in partisan politics. They must not be allowed to make any comment or comment that may be deemed to political in any sense or by any stretch of imagination. 

Tenure of office
To ensure that the judiciary is independence, the judges must enjoy a secure tenure of office. This means that the judges hold their job for as long as they capable of performing without being fired. The only time they can be prevented from doing their job is when they have reached their retirement age, or where they conduct themselves in a way that bring their office into disrepute or when they fall sick to the extent that they are incapable to functioning in their office.

Attractive remuneration
Again, to ensure the independence of the judiciary, their salaries and allowances must be so attractive that they are not attracted to take bribes. Their salaries can never be varies downward. If their salary and allowances must be varied, they can only be varied upward. They must also be allowed to retire on their salary. In other words, when judges retire, they must continue to take their salaries as pension.

Salaries charged on the Consolidated Fund
Finally, to ensure the independence of the judiciary, their salaries and emoluments must be charged to the Consolidated Fund. This ensures a continual flow and payment cannot be truncated for lack of funds.

1. a. What is Judiciary Independence?
    b. Outline five ways in the judiciary can be made independent.

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