“By the latter part of the 20th century the independence of the judges
had come under increasing threat from interference by the executive.
Recent reforms have, however, served to redress this position and
ensure that a proper division of personnel and functions between these
two arms of the state is restored.
Discuss this statement in the context of the Separation/ Balance of
Powers in the UK constitution.”
French political thinker Montesquieu argued during the Enlightenment
that in a democratic state the three branches of government; the
legislative, the executive, and the judiciary should not overlap in
personnel or function. Is the British judiciary’s integrity at stake
in a constitutional monarchy which does not comply with Montesquieu’s
base definition of democracy? Transitioning without a written
constitution or clear separation of powers resulted in questionable
balance of power amongst the arms of government, and to some extent
hampered judicial independence. The United Kingdom’s historic and
homeostatic governance needed to be severely tweaked to conform to the
contemporary world. The UK’s judicial system faced challenges similar
to those European nations which have moved from despotic to democratic
governance; the processes’ abridged version most recently featured by
members of the Soviet block in the early 1990’s. The courts’ crucial
function of upholding individuals’ rights, keeping the executive in
line, and defining the meaning of laws relies on a decision making
process and judicial review wholly independent from outside forces and
... middle of paper ...
... significant reason for the feasibility of unwritten laws and
conventions United Kingdom in maintain law and order is the “culture
Hartley, T., Griffith, J. “Government and Law.” Second ed. Fakenham
Press. London. 1981.
Kirby, M. “Courts and Politics: Judicial Independence.” Yale Law
School. 2000. Retrieved from the World Wide Web:
Sueur, A., Sunkin, M. “Public Law.” Longman. London. 1997.
Turpin, C. “British Government and the Constitution Text, Cases and
Materials.” Fifth ed. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. 2005.
“Judicial Independence, Open Justice and Advance Sentence Indication.”
Crown Prosecution Service Retrieved from the World Web at:
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