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Independence of the judiciary, a protection of justice

In 1985, international treaties and conventions further developed the independence of the judiciary as a mechanism to guarantee justice.

In this regard, judicial independence is understood as the set of institutional guarantees that serve as a basis for the functioning of the judiciary free from pressure and interference from actors pursuing particular ends and interests. This set of guarantees seeks to protect the application of justice, respect for the rights and guarantees of citizens and, consequently, the preservation of the rule of law.  

The independence of the courts and judges is the cornerstone of a justice system that guarantees the independence of the judiciary. the human rights of individualsFor this reason, one of the most characteristic features of judicial independence is that the judge is not subject to any conflict of interest. For this reason, the States and organizations that guarantee the independence of the judiciary must human rights and international justice have made great efforts to develop agreements and treaties to develop measures to safeguard judicial independence, all with the intention of preserving access to justice in a transparent manner. 

Among the constitutions and conventions that promote the independence of the judiciary, the following are noteworthy resolutions 40/32 and 40/146 of the Seventh United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders held in September 1985. The Charter of the United Nations, in which the "Basic principles relating to the independence of the judiciary"The aim is to create conditions under which justice and international cooperation for the achievement and respect of human rights can be maintained. For its part, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights highlights the right of every person to have access to justice by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal.

What are the basic principles of the independence of the judiciary?

With the intention that States should have clarity on the independence of the judiciary and can promote it from their spaces, principles for its development were elaborated in the constitutions and legislations of the States.

The most important aspects are highlighted below:

  1. The independence of the judiciary is a guarantee of the State that must be proclaimed through its national constitution or legislation. In addition, it must be included in all legal regulations of governmental and other institutions.

  2. Judges shall act impartially, based on the facts and in accordance with the law, without any restriction or influence. Nor shall they respond to inducements, pressures, threats or direct or indirect interference.

  3. The judiciary has jurisdiction over all matters of a judicial nature and has exclusive authority..

  4. Undue or unjustified interference in the judicial process shall have no effect, nor the review of judicial decisions of the courts. This principle does not alter the avenue of judicial review or mitigation or commutation of sentences in accordance with the law.

  5. All States shall provide the necessary resources for the judiciary to act independently and in the performance of its duties.

  6. Members of the judiciary shall enjoy the freedoms of expression, belief, association and assembly. However, they must at all times preserve the dignity of their functions and the impartiality and independence of the judiciary.

  7. Judges are fully entitled to build judges' associations or other organizations. representing their interests, professional training and judicial independence.

  8. Judges must be persons of integrity and competence, with the appropriate legal qualifications to hold such office.

  9. Judges are bound by professional confidentiality with respect to their deliberations and confidential information obtained in the course of their duties. Public hearings are excluded from this case.

  10. Judges should enjoy irremovability who must be guaranteed the ideal conditions for permanence in their positions.

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