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Accountability in the Contemporary Constitution$
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Nicholas Bamforth and Peter Leyland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670024.001.0001

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Judicial Accountability in Comparative Perspective

Judicial Accountability in Comparative Perspective

Chapter:
(p.57) 3 Judicial Accountability in Comparative Perspective
Source:
Accountability in the Contemporary Constitution
Author(s):

Mark Tushnet

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670024.003.0003

This chapter examines the complex relationship between judicial accountability and judicial independence. If judges are unaccountable to the public, they can become the people's rulers. Yet, if they are too accountable to the public they can exercise arbitrary power. The chapter describes mechanisms of achieving accountability through various methods of judicial appointment and removal. But, it argues, more important than those methods is the idea of ensuring judicial accountability by insisting that judges be accountable to the law. That notion, too, is complex. It includes some idea of responsibility to past law-makers, coupled with some idea of accountability to contemporary professionals who define for judges what it means to make decisions according to law.

Keywords:   Judicial accountability, judicial independence, exercise of arbitrary power, methods of achieving accountability, judicial appointment and removal, accountable to the law, decisions according to law

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