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  • Dr Navin C Naidu

Freedom to comment on the judiciary

"The independence of the judiciary is always suspect when judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and not by the People." – a Native American judge

In some countries the freedom of the press, speech, expression and association are celebrated on paper only as a window dressing. Nevertheless, the powerless but enlightened and awakened citizen should be allowed to make constructive criticisms concerning the administration of justice. Aren’t judges public officers? Aren’t they paid out of citizens’ tax money?

The judiciary is one of the three organs of state if one agrees that they are designed to serve the citizens. If the executive and the legislature are open to criticism, what’s so special about a Janus-faced judiciary that is highly apprehensive of an unforgiving executive?

The motivation to comment usually arises when a judicial pronouncement is viewed as anathema to common sense, to the citizen’s views on public policy, and to that mercurial “rule of law”. But, comments in favour of the judiciary for its trail-blazing judgments that drained a stinky swamp are welcome.


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