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POL101W - Chapter 9 - The Judiciary
Cue cards from Chapter 9 - the Judiciary.
Political Studies
Undergraduate 1

Additional Political Studies Flashcards




Different Types of Law
Public law - Includes constitutional law, criminal law and many aspects of international law

Private law - Regulates disputes between members of the public (individuals, groups, corporations)

International law - Covers how governments of different countries deal with each other and also how businesses and individuals from one country are dealt with by other countries
Different Systems of Law
Common Law System: Operates on the principle of stare decisis, that like cases should be decided alike and courts are bound by the precedents of other similar cases. This is used in many countries which belonged to the British Empire, like Canada.

Civil Code System: Found mostly in Western Europe and countries from the French Empire, this system states that law should be applied freshly to each case.

Sharia Law: Based on Ancient Islamic teachings from the Qur'an and other scholarly writings.
Roles of the Judiciary
- To interpret the law
- To enforce the law by:
Determining guilt or innocence
Setting penalties for the guilty
- To settle civil disputes
- To conduct judicial review of government actors
Methods of Judicial Appointment
- Appointment by the Executive
- Nomination by the Executive and approval by the Legislature
- Chosen by other judges
- Election
Judicial Review
- Scrutiny of other government branches to ensure that their actions are within the Constitution
- Reviewing other state actors, making sure they fulfil their duties and do not acct beyond their powers
- Making sure people only do what what law permits them to do
Key Aspects of the Rule of the Law
- Laws must emanate from a known, formal institution authorized by the constitution to exercise legislative power
- Citizens must be able to find out what laws they must obey
- Laws should apply to everyone, including government officials
- The law can make exceptions/distinctions, but those exceptions must be included in the law itself
- The law must be ultimately enforced by proper courts of law
- No democratic government can function without respecting the rule of law
Judicial Independence
- Refers to the relationship of the judiciary to the legislature and the executive
- It means that judges can do their work without interference from politicians, bureaucrats and other government officials

Requires that:
- Politicians must not pressure judges
- Judges must not get “political”
- Security of tenure
- Financial security
- Administrative Freedom
Judicial Impartiality
Refers to a state of mind in which judges settle cases without applying their pre-existing biases in favour of or against the people or issues involved
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