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Fair Reflection of Society in Judicial Systems: A Comparative Study

ISBN13: 9783319184845
Published: August 2015
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Country of Publication: Switzerland
Format: Hardback
Price: £99.99

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This book addresses one central question: if justice is to be done in the name of the community, how far do the decision-makers need to reflect the community, either in their profile or in the opinions they espouse? Each contributor provides an answer on the basis of a careful analysis of the rules, assumptions and practices relating to their own national judicial system and legal culture.

Written by national experts, the essays illustrate a variety of institutional designs towards a better reflection of the community. The involvement of lay people is often most visible in judicial appointments at senior court level, with political representatives sometimes appointing judges. They consider the lay involvement in the judicial system more widely, from the role of juries to the role of specialist lay judges and lay assessors in lower courts and tribunals.

This lay input into judicial appointments is explored in light of the principle of judicial independence. The contributors also critically discuss the extent to which judicial action is legitimised by any ‘democratic pedigree’ of the judges or their decisions. The book thus offers a range of perspectives, all shaped by distinctive constitutional and legal cultures, on the thorny relationship between the principle of judicial independence and the idea of democratic accountability of the judiciary.

Comparative Law, Law and Society
Table of contents
About the Authors
1. Fair reflection of society in judicial systems
Sophie Turenne
2. Judges and democracy in Argentina: an elite in search of legitimacy
Jose Sebastian Elias
3. Concepts of representation in their application to the judiciary in Australia
Susan Kiefel AC and Cheryl Saunders
4. Re-forming a meritorious elite. Judicial independence, selection of judges and the High Council of Justice in Belgium
Maurice Adams and Benoit Allemeersch
5. La justice constitutionnelle au-dela du gouvernement des juges: la constitution de pratiques pour refleter la societe
Stephane Bernatchez
6. Judicial selection, lay participation, and judicial culture in the Czech Republic: a study in a Central European (non)transformation'
Michal Bobek
7. Lay judges and professionals in Danish Courts
Ditlev Tamm
8. Finnish judges between tradition and dynamism
Pia Letto-Vanamo
9. How to become a Judge in Hungary? From the professionalism of the judiciary to the political ties of the Constitutional CourtBalazs Fekete
10. The independence and social influence of a meritorious legal elite in Serbia
Dusan Nikolic
11. The government of judges and democracy. The tragic institutional situation of the Venezuelan judiciary
Allan R. Brewer-Carias
Annex: Questionnaire.