West Indian Law Journal Volume 40 Issues 1 &39
Edited by Ms. Carol Aina, CD
Table of Contents
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by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie
The process of evolution of the modern judiciary is as old as western
civilization itself. For those countries of the Westminster tradition
including the English-speaking Caribbean States, the process has
culminated in written constitutions that enshrine the principles of the
separation of powers under the tripartite system of government. This
system integrates the independence of the judiciary as a central tenet.
This paper looks at the process as it has developed and applies to the
English-speaking Caribbean States. It identifies some of the potential
areas of concern and discusses the importance of the insulation of the
judiciary from external control. The paper examines the importance of
ensuring the security of tenure of judges and advances the position that
the processes for disciplinary control of the judiciary should remain
under the purview of the judiciary, even while ensuring accountability
to the public. The paper concludes by looking to the future, emphasizing
the importance of mutual respect among the three separate arms of
government – the legislature, the executive and the judiciary – for their
respective roles and reaffirms the importance of judicial restraint in the
exercise of the courts’ supervisory role.