Supreme Court: Underpinning Principles
Rule of Law
- The Supreme Court works under the principle of the rule of law, which includes everyone, no matter their position, is accountable under the law.
- It ensures that laws are applied equally, impartially, and consistently in line with established legal principles.
Separation of Powers
- The Supreme Court ensures the separation of powers, acting as a check on the power of both the executive (government) and the legislative (Parliament) branches.
- This ensures that no one branch becomes too powerful and maintains the balance of power within the system of governance.
- The principle of judicial independence is key. This means that judges are independent of the government or any other influence.
- Their decisions are made entirely on the basis of law. This guarantees fairness and impartiality in the administration of justice.
- The Supreme Court operates under the principle of precedent. This means that the decisions made in previous cases guide how future cases are decided.
- This ensures consistency in law and builds a body of common law over time.
- Judicial review is another underpinning principle. It means the Supreme Court can review the legality of actions or decisions made by public bodies or the government.
- This helps to ensure that public bodies act within their legal powers and respects individuals’ rights.
- The Supreme Court has the power to decide constitutional matters. It interprets the constitution and decides its meaning and the impact it will have on laws and individuals.
- This can involve striking down laws that conflict with the constitution.