Justice depends upon the ability of judges to render impartial decisions based upon open-minded and unbiased consideration of the facts and the law in each case, as well as maintains public trust and confidence within the courts. Within the United States, justice manifests independence in decisional processes, as well as institutional operations, or the ability of the court to administer their own operations as part of an independent branch of government.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may
be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
Many countries in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia are undergoing significant changes to enhance judicial independence. Even established democracies struggle to ensure an independent judiciary. While there are different assumptions about how to structure an independent judiciary, there is general agreement on a number of key elements that must be structured to fit the needs and situation of any country striving to ensure judicial independence within a well-balanced democratic system.
The examples outlined in several sections of this 2011 report provide stark reminders of how precarious judicial independence can be when there is inadequate funding for our courts.
This title is a significant contribution due to its exploration of the development and importance of judicial independence within a separation-of-powers framework.
This article compares the records of district judges appointed by President Reagan and then promotes to a vacancy on a court of appeals to those whom he appointed to a district court but did not promote.
This article discusses the key elements that are needed for any country striving to ensure judicial independence within a well-balanced democratic system.
This PowerPoint presentation is a Texas Bar Association initiative designed to be used as a tool to promote and illustrate the importance of an Independent Judiciary.
Judicial independence, the freedom of the judiciary to render justice fairly, impartially, in accordance with law and the United States Constitution, without threat, fear of reprisal, intimidation, or other undue influence or consideration, is a hallmark of American democracy.
This staff memorandum discusses the relation of judicial selection methods, particularly judicial elections, to judicial independence. Concerns related to attacks on judicial candidates and attempts by business and political interests to influence judicial elections are examined.
This article reviews successful efforts in the countries of Latin America in establishing independent judiciaries.
The cry for justice is universal. Responding to that cry all over the world, lawyers, judges, court administrators, and judicial educators seek to reform justice systems and promote the rule of law. At this time in our world's history, there is no higher calling. The rule of law is an essential feature of all democratic countries. The essential nature of democracy is government by, for, and of the people.
"Call to Action" statement that came out of the Summit on Improving Judicial Selection. The purposes of the Summit were to discuss and recommend concrete steps to improve popular elections of judges and issue a Call To Action for states to implement.
The "Call To Action" was issued by the participants in the National Summit on Improving Judicial Selection, held on December 8-9, 2000 in Chicago, Illinois. This new edition of the Call To Action provides a commentary that introduces the four sections of the Call To Action and provides background on the 20 recommendations.
This article examines the relationship between attorney contributions and the voting record of individual judges on the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, a state which has implemented reforms to curb the influrence of monetary contributions.
The Brennan Center helps to educate the public about appropriate measures of judicial accountability and encourages judges to meet those standards.
This memorandum is a description of the problem of and possible constructive approaches to the unwarranted criticism of judges.
This classic article provides an objective examination of the doctrine of judicial immunity as it applies to all levels of state court judges and other court-related personnel. It also describes methods for providing legal representation to judges.