Monday, September 10, 2012

Judicial independence

R. v. Pan, 2012 ONCA 581, released today, has a good summary of what "judicial independence" requires:

[15] Judicial independence has three characteristics: security of tenure, financial security and administrative independence. In this case, only administrative independence could conceivably be implicated. Unlike, for example, financial security, which has both an individual and an institutional aspect, administrative independence attaches only to the court as an institution. Contrary to the apparent view of the trial judge, administrative independence has nothing to do with the individual independence of a judge of the court. It means control by the court, as an institution, "over the administrative decisions that bear directly and immediately on the exercise of the judicial function". The Supreme Court has defined administrative independence narrowly, referring only to the "assignment of judges, sittings of the court and court lists - as well as the related matters of allocation of court rooms and direction of the administrative staff engaged in carrying out these functions" (emphasis added): see Reference re: Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court (P.E.I.), [1997] 3 S.C.R. 3, at paras. 115-20.

No comments: