Judicial Independence Law and Legal Definition

Judicial independence is the idea of keeping the judiciary away from the other branches of government. The main objective behind granting judicial independence is to avoid the improper influence on the court from the other branches of government, or from private or partisan interests. It is alo referred as independence of the judiciary. “Judicial independence is not for the protection of judges, although it is often thought of in that context today. The principle of judicial independence is designed to protect the system of justice and the rule of law, and thus maintain public trust and confidence in the courts. With judicial independence, the winners are everyone.”[ Segars-Andrews v. Judicial Merit Selection Comm'n, 387 S.C. 109 (S.C. 2010)].

Judicial independence can be ensured by granting life tenure or long tenure for judges. Life tenure or long tenure ideally frees the judges to decide cases and make rulings according to the rule of law and judicial discretion, even if those decisions are politically unpopular or opposed by powerful interests.