THE independence of the judiciary is under attack in this country. It is under attack by the very bar that prides itself on independence and self-governance. That stinging irony aside, these attacks should not be taken lightly.
The Supreme Court of Canada described judicial independence as the “lifeblood of constitutionalism in democratic societies… An independent judiciary is absolutely necessary to ensure that the power of the state is exercised in accordance with the rule of law and the provisions of [the] Constitution. In this capacity, courts act as a shield against unwarranted deprivations by the state of the rights and freedoms of individuals… Judicial independence further represents the cornerstone of the common law duty of procedural fairness, which attaches to all judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative proceedings, and is an unwritten principle of the Constitution.