judiciary | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction to Criminal Justice

The term judiciary is used to refer to the court system of a country or state, as well as judges, taken collectively.

The judiciary is a crucial component of any democratic system of government, responsible for interpreting and applying the law in a fair and impartial manner. The term judiciary refers to the court system of a country or state, as well as the judges who preside over those courts.

In the United States, the judiciary is comprised of a system of federal and state courts, with the Supreme Court at the highest level. The federal court system is divided into district courts, circuit courts, and the Supreme Court, while state courts vary in their structure and organization.

The role of the judiciary is to interpret the law and apply it to individual cases in a way that is consistent with the principles of due process and equal protection under the law. This includes resolving disputes between parties, enforcing contracts and other legal agreements, and upholding the rights and protections guaranteed by the Constitution.

Judges play a crucial role in the judiciary, serving as impartial arbiters of the law and ensuring that the legal system functions in a fair and just manner. Judges are responsible for interpreting the law, applying it to individual cases, and rendering decisions that are consistent with the principles of due process and equal protection.

The independence of the judiciary is a critical feature of any democratic system of government. Judges must be free from political influence or pressure in order to make decisions that are impartial and consistent with the law. This requires a commitment to the rule of law, as well as a robust system of judicial checks and balances to ensure that the judiciary remains independent and free from interference.

In recent years, the independence of the judiciary has come under threat in many countries around the world. The politicization of the judiciary, attacks on judges and their decisions, and attempts to undermine the rule of law all pose significant challenges to the integrity of the judiciary and the democratic system as a whole.

Despite these challenges, the judiciary remains a critical component of any democratic system of government, serving as a bulwark against abuses of power and ensuring that the rights and protections of citizens are upheld and protected.

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Last Modified: 04/05/22023


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