General Principles: Separation of Powers:
Separation of powers exists in Australia in that the judiciary is separated from the legislative and executive branches of government.
Separation of powers protects overpowering from an individual or small group.
It also allows the branches of government to act as a check and balance on each other.
Vital element of judicial independence.
Judges are able to decide their cases without interference from the legislative or executive branch
The most important support for judicial independence must come from the public in the form of public trust. The public needs to not accept political pressure being put on judges.
The judiciary needs job security to ensure they can make judgements without fear of losing their job. This is why the GG appoints all justices to all Federal Courts and they can only be removed for proved misbehaviour or incapacity through a vote of both houses of Federal Parliament.
Section 72 of the Constitution: all federal judges are appointed until the age of 70 and may not have their salaries reduced while in office.
No judge can direct another judge's decision in a legal case- apart from appeal.
General Principles: Natural Justice:
Natural justice sets standards of the application of law and the conduct of trials
-Both parties to a legal case have the right to be heard.
-Everyone should have equal access to the legal system and the law should applied to everyone equally.
-Court processes must be transparent and open to scrutiny
-Decisions must be made in open court and not behind closed doors
-Reasons should be given for legal judgements (not possible through juries)
-A legal decision maker must not have a personal interest in the case.
Australian's have a fairly low level of satisfaction of the...