Lawyer Monthly - June 2022

41 JUN 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM HOW TO PROTECT THE JUDICIARY FROM POLITICAL INTERFERENCE accused of shattering lives. In Poland and Hungary, the ruling parties have attempted to remove unfavoured judges and install their loyalists. In my home country, Turkey, the judiciary has been widely criticised for becoming an instrument in political cases and for hindering dissent with thousands of prosecutions for slandering the president. Similar stories are frequently reported. The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index recently highlighted that amid attacks from interventionist politicians and populist media, portraying themselves as champions of “the people” against privileged elites, the rule of law around the world is weakening. Analysing the Issue As the judiciary is the most vital institution to ensure the survival of a democratic society, it must be continuously protected and nurtured. Judges must be treated appropriately, and it must be ensured that they in turn fulfil their duties efficiently. They must serve society with a top-quality judicial service that is proportionate to the importance of their role as well as the great powers and exceptional privileges provided to them. Judges are supposed to rule impartially and independently, free from prejudices and outside influence – particularly from politicians. When their rulings are perceived to be politically driven, the judiciary is attacked, with attackers claiming in essence that the judges would rather rule against the will and interests of the society than protect the public. Given that judges are selected and appointed by politicians for their political lenience, is it not natural for their rulings to be or perceived to be politically motivated? When politicians appoint judges, how can the public be sure that the judiciary is independent? Can the public in the US, for example, be expected to be fully satisfied with the ruling of a Republican-majority Supreme Court? A further difficulty here is that human beings are intrinsically political and cannot be representatives in the judicial councils. It is obvious that any political involvement in the judiciary will inevitably lead the judiciary to be politicised. Consequently, the question is: How do we deal with his paradox? Why do the public complain about the political lenience of the judiciary while politicians are mandated to keep the judiciary on a leash? Finding the Root Cause Public trust in the judiciary is generally higher in better-functioning societies, whereas in societies with less sophisticated and robust civic institutions there are often more complaints about judges. Lower quality of service and accountability leads to the lessening of the public trust in the judiciary and judges. It is obvious that the public are either confused about or have lost trust in their judiciaries. It is the accountability of the judges that is the main factor which distinguishes judiciaries as being better or worse service providers. It is only natural for the judiciary to be scrutinised, and the combination of free speech and a free press can result expected to be apolitical in all things, with judges being no different. In addition to politicians’ involvement in the appointment of the judges, there is also a tendency in nations all around the world to allow politicians to interfere with the judiciary. In France, the executive branch is involved in the judicial council (the CSM); in the UK, the Lord Chancellor appoints judges on recommendations by the JAC, and the Venice Commission considers it acceptable for the executive branch to have It is obvious that any political involvement in the judiciary will inevitably lead the judiciary to be politicised.

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