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Conceptualization(s) of Judicial Independence and Judicial Accountability by the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Authors:

David Kosař ,

CZ
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Samuel Spáč

CZ
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Abstract

This article focuses on conceptual issues regarding the new methodology of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) for measuring judicial independence and accountability. First, we argue that the proposal mixes up several concepts – judicial independence, judicial accountability, transparency of the judiciary, and public trust in the judiciary – which should be treated separately. Second, the proposal relies too much on conceptions of independence developed by the judicial community. As a result, it treats judicial administration with higher levels of involvement of judges as inherently better without empirical evidence, and does not sufficiently distinguish between de iure and de facto judicial independence. Moreover, the ENCJ’s indicators of judicial accountability are underinclusive as well as overinclusive and do not correspond to the traditional understanding of the concept. Finally, we argue that the ENCJ has to accept the possibility that (at least some types of) judicial councils (at least in some jurisdictions) might negatively affect (at least some facets of) judicial independence and judicial accountability. As a result, the ENCJ must adjust the relevant indicators accordingly.

How to Cite: Kosař, D. and Spáč, S., 2018. Conceptualization(s) of Judicial Independence and Judicial Accountability by the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back. International Journal for Court Administration, 9(3), pp.37–46. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ijca.284
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Published on 19 Sep 2018.
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