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Chapter 10 - A public trust

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2012

Enid Campbell
Affiliation:
Monash University, Victoria
H. P. Lee
Affiliation:
Monash University, Victoria
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Summary

‘All courts’, it has been said, ‘need the confidence of the public’. Members of the public should be confident that the courts can be relied upon to perform their functions independently, impartially and according to law. Without that confidence, judges cannot expect their decisions to be respected.

A number of conditions need to be satisfied if public confidence in the courts is to be sustained. Those appointed to judicial offices should be seen to possess appropriate qualifications. The terms on which judges are appointed must assure them independence of the other branches of government, but at the same time allow for removal of judges from office should they become incapable of performing their judicial duties or should they conduct themselves in ways which render them unfit to remain judges. Judges must also be disqualified from adjudicating cases in which their impartiality is open to question. There must be adequate provision for correction of judicial errors and for punishment of those who attempt to pervert the administration of justice. Hearings before the courts should generally be open to members of the public who care to observe them. There should be minimal legal constraints on the reporting of and comment on court proceedings. Judges should normally be required to give reasons for their decisions. Courts should be required to present periodic accounts to their paymasters in respect of their expenditures of the moneys made available to them from public funds for court purposes. By and large, the Australian court systems satisfy these basic conditions.

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The Australian Judiciary , pp. 308 - 316
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

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References

Gleeson, MThe Rule of Law and the ConstitutionABC Books 2000 82Google Scholar
Kenny, SMaintaining Public Confidence in the Judiciary: A Precarious Equilibrium 1999 25 Monash University Law Review209Google Scholar
Aronson, MDyer, BGroves, MJudicial Review of Administrative ActionLBC Information Services 2009 646Google Scholar
Cornes, R, the Lord Chancellor and the Law Lords 2000 Public Law166Google Scholar
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Williams, J MJudges’ freedom of speech: AustraliaLee, H PJudiciaries in Comparative PerspectiveCambridge University Press 2011Google Scholar
Campbell, EOaths and Affirmations of Public Office under English Law: An Historical Retrospect 2000 21 Journal of Legal History1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Doyle, JThe Australian Judicature – Some Challenges 2003 29 Monash University Law Review202Google Scholar
Evans, SWilliams, JAppointing Australian Judges: A New Model 2008 30 Sydney Law Review295Google Scholar
Austin, R PThe High Court and the Community 1984 4 The Judicial Review18Google Scholar

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  • A public trust
  • Enid Campbell, Monash University, Victoria, H. P. Lee, Monash University, Victoria
  • Book: The Australian Judiciary
  • Online publication: 05 December 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139028431.011
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  • A public trust
  • Enid Campbell, Monash University, Victoria, H. P. Lee, Monash University, Victoria
  • Book: The Australian Judiciary
  • Online publication: 05 December 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139028431.011
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • A public trust
  • Enid Campbell, Monash University, Victoria, H. P. Lee, Monash University, Victoria
  • Book: The Australian Judiciary
  • Online publication: 05 December 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139028431.011
Available formats
×