To what extent is the judiciary both independent and neutral?

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They are independent and neutral

  • INDEPENDENT Separation of powers- the Lord Chancellor, as of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, is no longer head of the judicial system 
  • INDEPENDENT The Appointments Commission- can object to senior appointments and makes non-polticial appointments
  • NEUTRAL Rulings against the Government have risen- for example, in the mid 1990s, Michael Howard (Home Secetary), lost of a string of judicial reviews against prisoners who said that his prison regime breached their human rights
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They are not independent and neutral

  • NEUTRAL There is a narrow social background of senior judges= all but one of the Law Lords Oxbridge educated, eleven were male and the average age of them was 68
  • NEUTRAL Many senior judges have/have had seats in the House of Lords- which was seen as Conservative instution until the 1990s- have had Cons. influence
  • Increasing politcial dialogue between judges and politicians,over sentencing policy and protection of rights- not direct interference but politically influencing judges
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Conclusion

To a large extent, they are independent and neutral, but they are some factors of the judiciary that breach this, such as their appointment.

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