Political role of the judiciary (how judiciary is involved in politics)

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  • The political role of the judiciary
    • Declaring common law
      • Rules/laws which have developed by tradition OR common ways of dealing with disputes
        • It normally relates to matters such as inheritance and occasionally rights of citizens.
      • Judges must sometimes decide what the common law is themselves
        • This is because there is sometimes no statute law or common law either.
    • Interpretation
      • Judges often have to interpret the meaning of law (case law/common law)
        • Cases involving the govt /govt agency/rights of citizens may have public significance.
    • Creating case law
      • JUDGE MADE LAW, as once the case has been dealt with, any similar cases in the future will be dealt similarly.
        • Judges are therefore, in effect, making new law, rather than Parliament.
    • Dispensing justice
      • It is the court's duty to ensure legal justice/equal treatment under the law.
    • Judicial reiew
      • whereby the courts review an appeal made against a governmental organisation.
        • For example, if the govt has exceeded its powers
    • Public Inquiries
      • When a judge is called to conduct public inquiry of matters of widespread public concern.
        • Judges are iindependent of govt, and so an inquiry led by a judge will be politically neutral.
      • Hutton inquiry- looking into the apparent suicide of Kelly, a civil servant/ weapons expert


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