Judicial independence is a fundamental aspect of law and governance in Australia.
Under Australia’s Constitution, our judiciary is independent from the other arms of government. The separation of powers doctrine means that in interpreting and applying the law, judicial officers act independently and without interference from the parliament or the executive. The constitutional guarantees of tenure and remuneration assist in securing judicial independence.
The effective administration of justice is dependent on the public’s confidence in the justice system and in the independence of our judiciary. The ABA considers it core to its role to defend and protect the independence of the judiciary.
The reporting of inaccurate or unjust criticism of judges, courts, or our system of justice erodes public confidence and weakens the administration of justice. It is vital that the public knows and believes that the courts, their procedures, and their decisions are fair and impartial. It is unethical for a judge to answer criticism of her or his actions appearing in the news media regarding pending or impending matters.
The Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, the Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and the Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia have agreed with the President of the Australian Bar Association and, through her, the Presidents of the State and Territory Bar Associations the terms of a protocol for the President of the Australian Bar Association and the Presidents of State and. Territory Bar Associations to raise any concerns from time to time with the heads of those jurisdictions about judicial conduct.