Judicial Independence 

 

The judiciary must be able to adjudicate independently and impartially in accordance with the provisions of the law, regardless of the background of the litigants and is free from political pressure. This is the cornerstone of the Rule of Law. To ensure judicial independence, there must be strict requirements on the appointment and dismissal of judges, conditions of service, and immunities in exercising judicial powers. The judiciary must also have sufficient power to review the legality of the decisions of the executive authorities and the constitutionality of the legislation enacted by the legislature in other to effectively balance the powers of the executive authorities and the legislature. If government officials would still respect a ruling of the court even if it constitutes an obstacle to administration, an important indicator of the Rule of Law is satisfied. Because the judiciary can only supervise the works of the government in litigation, the Rule of Law would be impaired if citizens cannot use the judicial processes to protect their interest due to lack of resources or other reasons.