Submission in Response to Discussion Paper 'Scoping the Establishment of a Federal Judicial Commission'

Liberty Victoria

As the discussion paper acknowledges, the judiciary represents an important arm of the Australian constitutional system. Amongst other things, it is responsible for upholding the rule of law and dispensing justice. Predominantly, it achieves this by resolving controversies according to law without fear or favour.

In the context of human rights, courts are regularly accessed by individuals seeking to remedy a violation of their rights or interests. Given the executive branch of government is often responsible for rights violations, it is of fundamental importance in a properly functioning liberal democracy that an individual is able to obtain effective relief for rights violations from an independent, competent and impartial arbiter. Further, the judiciary has a vital role in maintaining parliamentary sovereignty. If members of the executive are acting unlawfully, such as beyond the scope of powers conferred by the legislature, then that undermines the separation of powers that founds our democratic system. The judiciary therefore has a vital role in protecting our system of liberal democratic government. 

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