In this paper judicial independence is viewed from the angle of economics. Economic historians have identified judicial independence as a key element in explaining why some nations have had a more successful economic development than others. Empirically it is shown that perceived judicial independence correlates with economic growth. I argue that the crucial importance of judicial independence and how it is perceived poses a challenge with regard to judicial budgeting, and that this true with regard to both basic models of judicial budgeting presently found in Europe: the traditional model which grants the authority to manage and allocate the judicial budget to the Ministry of Justice, and the more “modern” approach which grants this authority to an independent judicial council. However as illustrated with practical examples, in both cases the use of carefully designed and transparent statistical performance indicators may help authorities to deal more properly with the challenge posed by judicial independence.