To what extent are UK judges both independent and neutral? Essay

2847 Words Dec 5th, 2013 12 Pages
Unit 2 Stimulus – The Judiciary
1a) With reference to the source, describe the measures that exist to maintain the independence and neutrality of the judiciary.
The independence of the judiciary from the executive and legislative is said to kept by things like their fixed salaries and sub judice rule. Their salaries ‘are paid from the Consolidated Fund’ and aren’t fixed or changeable by Parliament or the government which keeps the judiciary free from political pressure in terms of finance. The sub judice rule is where the MPs in the House of Commons are unable to comment on current or pending cases. This keeps the judiciary free from political interference and prevents prejudice against judicial decisions. This rule is followed by
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It was, therefore, seen as a breach of judicial independence. However following the creation of the Supreme Court in 2009, senior judges no longer sit in the House of Lords which means are free of political influence and decision making – and in effect – from the legislature as they can speak out against the government.

1c) To what extent are UK judges both independent and neutral?
Judicial independence is based on the freedom of the judiciary from the interference by the two by the two other branches of government: the executive and legislature, in its activities, as well as freedom from pressure exerted by the media or public opinion. Judicial neutrality is the absence of bias in the judiciary for example; religious, social, gender, political or racial bias. UK judges are generally seen to possess both independent and neutral qualities. They are independent and neutral to a large extent as the Constitutional Reform Act in 2005 has increased their independence and existing measures such as security of their job and salary, as well as sub judice rule, the growth of judicial review and increased European influence maintains existing independence. Neutrality is increasing the judiciary as its social representation is improving and the biased attitudes of judges towards national security have been changing. However independence and neutrality is still limited as there have been biased judgements against certain social groups, biased judgments in favour of national