Skip to main content
New Judicial Website coming! Click here to read about this exciting news!
Home Courts Educational Resources Judicial Independence
Home Courts Educational Resources Judicial Independence
Judicial Independence

The principle of judicial independence is central to a functioning democracy. Essentially, this means that the courts are shielded from politics or any other force that could compromise its ability to make fair rulings. Judicial independence includes two elements: decisional independence and institutional independence.

Some further sources of information on judicial independence include:

Despite the general success of efforts to shield the courts, the American Judicature Society ( lists dangers which may threaten judicial independence. Some of these include:

  • Underfunding and workload
  • Inappropriate threats of impeachment prompted by individual decisions
  • Misleading criticism of individual decisions, which is compounded by the prohibition on judicial response
  • Poor interbranch relationships between the judiciary and the legislature marked by the lack of communication
  • The lack of periodic and automatic judicial salary increases for cost-of-living adjustments; instead, legislatures control judicial salaries
  • Elections leading to concerns and potential conflicts of interest regarding campaign contributions
  • Retention elections posing the threat of judges being targeted by special interest groups based on legally correct but politically or socially unpopular decisions
important announcement Transparency Online   •   Contact Us   •   Interpreters   •   FAQ   •   Photos   •   Holidays Menu Important Announcement Home Search Courts Probation Jury Self Help ⁄ Forms Careers Media Administration Contact us Interpreters FAQ Photo Gallery Holiday Schedule