Judicial Accountability is Different from Accountability of Justice System

Judicial Accountability and Accountability of the Justice Delivery System are two different concepts though the two are inter-related and inter-dependent. The people are primarily concerned with the accountability of the justice system which they expect to be fair, impartial and independent. They also seek expeditious delivery of justice at reasonable cost and efficiency providing equal access to everyone. It is the collective responsibility of judges, lawyers, prosecutors, court staff and law enforcement officials of the executive government. Even the Legislature and the Executive have a role to play in this regard in as much as the judiciary is dependent on them for the infrastructure, support services and budget. 

Much of the criticism against the judiciary have arisen because of the failures of the Justice System in terms of delay and arrears, inequalities in access and treatment, rising cost of litigation and the uncertainties in the system. Judicial reform is part of the agenda of every government though it does not get the priority it deserves from any government. 

Judicial Accountability, on the other hand, is the performance accountability of individual judges in terms of their professional obligations and oath of office. This involves lack of honesty and integrity, inadequate judicial competence, indifferent ways of conduct unbecoming of a judge within and outside the court, insensitivity to human suffering and injustice, inefficiency in management of judicial and administrative work and failure to discharge Constitutional responsibilities. Instances of this kind were unheard of for the higher judiciary in the beginning years of the Republic. In recent times, it has become too frequent to be ignored as some of which have been found to be true as we. The tragedy is the inability of the system to take strong action against the culprits who seem to enjoy patronage and support both from within and outside the Judiciary. Herein lies the danger to the entire system of delivery of justice and to the values of democracy, rule of law and good governance.


Post a Comment