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Public Law Directions

Public Law Directions (2nd edn)

Anne Dennett
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date: 21 April 2024

p. 30313. The judiciarylocked

p. 30313. The judiciarylocked

  • Anne DennettAnne DennettSenior Lecturer, University of Lincoln


This chapter examines the role of the judiciary in the UK constitution, the critically important concepts of judicial independence and neutrality, accountability of judges, and judicial power. The UK courts administer justice; uphold the rule of law; and act as a check on executive power. Judicial independence requires that judges should be free from external influences in their decision-making, and make decisions without political interference or fear of reprisal. Meanwhile, judicial neutrality means that judges should determine legal disputes impartially, objectively, and solely by applying the law. At first sight, judicial accountability seems inconsistent with being independent, but it is essential that the judiciary adheres to the highest standards in carrying out its functions. In the absence of a codified constitution, the boundaries of judicial power operate within a framework of constitutional principles and conventions, but there is debate over the limits of that power.

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