Chicago Journal of International Law


In this Article, I will discuss domestic and international law as they relate to judicial independence, and how their interrelationship impacts judicial independence in both arenas. I will also note current challenges to judicial independence, on both practical and theoretical levels, and suggest some appropriate solutions. Section I reviews the three phases of judicial independence, using England as a case study. Section II considers fundamental concepts surrounding judicial independence: models, principles, and constitutionalism. It is important to review these normative concepts in order to create a common language of judicial independence. Section III explores challenges to judicial independence, both past and present. Section IV analyzes the response to these challenges: the creation of a culture of judicial independence. Section V evaluates the different components that have been, and that continue to be, critical to the culture of judicial independence. Cultures of judicial independence are built on both the domestic and international fronts, and in their more advanced stages consist of a combination of national and international law and jurisprudence. Section VI examines how the interrelationships between domestic law, international human rights law, and professional international standards have had a normative effect on the culture of judicial independence over its three phases. Particular attention is paid to England, the US, Austria, and Canada, with special reference where appropriate to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("ECHR"), and the UK's Human Rights Act and Constitutional Reforms Act. This Article concludes with a look to the future.