The key operating principles of the Supreme Court

Key Operating Principles of the Supreme Court

Judicial neutrality

Judicial neutrality exists when judges operate impartially (without any personal bias) in the way they administer justice.

Judicial neutrality is an essential requirement of the rule of law.

The rule of law is a key doctrine of the UK constitution. It guarantees justice for all. The constitutional expert A. V. Dicey saw the rule of law as one of the ‘twin pillars’ of the constitution; the other being parliamentary sovereignty.

According to Dicey the rule of law has three main strands:

■ No one can be punished without trial.

■ No one is above the law and all are subject to the same justice.

■ The general principles of the constitution (e.g. personal freedoms) result from the judges’ decisions rather than parliamentary statute

Judicial independence

Judicial independence is the principle that judges and others in the judiciary should be free from political control.

Judicial independence allows judges to ‘do the right thing’ and to apply justice properly, without fear of the consequences, such as losing their jobs.

Big read on judicial independence here.

More reading on judicial neutrality here.

ESSENTIAL reading from Lynch, here.

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