Justice Free From Politics?

The suspension of Pakistan's chief justice has triggered massive protests against President Musharraf. Is your judicial system free from political interference? If not, what are the consequences for your community?

Posted by Natalie Ahn on March 25, 2007 10:46 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (14)

Shashank Shekhar (Doha) :

A former chief justice of India recently told me that small brushes in between the judiciary and the executive are in fact healthy for democracy.
The only point that needs to be taken care of is that "the brushing" should not go beyond a certain level of decency and rationale. Fiction always occurs when things move ...

D. Hodara - Monte-Carlo :

A judicial system totally free of ANY POLITICAL INFLUENCE does not exist in any country. Therefore it is not possible to reply in a consistent way to your question. However, we may distinguish between the countries which enjoy democracy and the other countries which have autocratic rulers (the majority). In the democratic countries, the policitical influence -which does exist - may have different degrees of importance. A judicial system which has the least political influence, may offer a better protection to its citizens.

Salamon, Canada :

We the People of the United States [Preamble to USA Constitution]

The court system of the USA, like that of many other states is corrupt within the meaning of the Constitution of the respective state:

To illustrate this point with respect to the USA Supreme Court, I will cite I bring up two very important cases:

Buckley v Valeo in 1974 where in the Supreme Court of USA confused the notion of free speech 1st amendment, and corruption of the electoral process, which supposed to serve “WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and not the moneyed segment of society.


In today’s world, where the last Presidential Election involved over 2 Billion dollars, the power of big money donations corrupted the system. K-street, is the personification of POLITICA LCorruption [as against WE THE PEOPLE], with AIPAC’s influence on deleting the segment of proposed legislation wherein Congress limited the power of the President to start a war in Iran as the epitome of special interst overruling the interest of “WE THE PEOPLE” .


The Office holders [Senators, Representatives, and occasionally Presidents] must devote way too much time to fund-raising for the next cycle of elections, thereby neglecting their duty to attend to Legislation & Oversight.

Black Versus Board of Education of Topeka, will stand as the next example of the corrupt nature of the USA Judiciary with respect to “WE THE PEOPLE>>>”. While the judgement in the case accomplished one aspect of equality, that is, it negated segregation; the judgement failed completely to serve the youth of USA, for there was no direction given to the quality of education offered to the nations’ various social strata.

Since Brown Versus Topeka there were numerous cases of EQUALITY IN EDUCATION issues before the Courts, including the Supreme Court of USA. 53 years since this judgement and the quality of K-12 education is commensurate to the money/political power/social strata of the student. This is not only disgraceful, it is an INTENTIONAL ABUSE OF THE CHILDREN OF POORER PARENTS. The Various Judges hearing many of these cases in their judgement talked about funding levels, governance issues, bureaucratic niceties, BUT THEY ALL SHIED AWAY FROM DEMANDING THAT ALL STUDENTS SHOULD HAVE ACCESS TO THE BEST EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM with respect to the students’ ability and perseverance The ISSUE in these cases is not funding, but education, where funding is just one area in the process of education [ whre others are: teacher selection/qualification, student councelling for post elementary and post secondary educational issues, etc]

I do not think it is necessary to look for other examples [though there are many] to illustrate my thesis.
Somewhat similar issues also arose in Canada, where the Supreme Court is a joke in many respects [as well described by my compatriot FLEUR DE LYS, CANADA IN THE DISCUSSION BELOW]

daniel :

The suspension of Pakistan's chief justice has triggered massive protests against president Musharref. Is your judicial system free from political interference? If not, what are the consequences for your community?

I do not know the details of the Pakistan situation but I can say speaking as an American about the American judicial system that I personally have never been able to attain any clarity about it and with respect to the U.S. constitution.

My interest in the American system has been pretty much narrowed to the supreme court, and I would have to say that being a supreme court justice is a formidable task precisely because of the ambiguity (or as most prefer: flexibility) of the U.S. constitution.

In the U.S. the supreme court seems tied to papers in general upon which no one really can gain any clarity (and yes, I have read papers of justices such as Learned Hand, etc.) and we have everything from the constitution subordinate to the Bible to the constitution subordinate to Marxism and the Bible nowhere in sight.

I have difficulty grasping how the supreme court has any authority at all. Probably I should just plead ignorance about the whole thing.

But what are we to make of the supreme court, the U.S. constitution, etc. with respect to all the social developments and contradictions and problems which occur every day?

One example which I have been working on: The educational system is becoming more and more aware that the internet both increases the probability of plagiarism and makes it harder to detect. A generation of students is growing up comfortable with "sharing" information, etc. and this threatens copyright, patenting, simply determining the capable and original from the less original students, etc.

So far as I can tell with this problem of the internet and plagiarism, society is in a sense falling back on the "natural order of things" prior to education in that before the standards of the educational system, before the dichotomy of plagiarized/original work society simply mixed and matched at will and many accomplishments remained anonymous.

The educational system is something relatively new and our ability to determine the original, the non-plagiarized among us is very weakly formed. Even the most rigorous professors do not want to see that when we declare ourselves against plagiarism that we are for a system which is becoming more and more acute at locating genuine accomplishment and that necessarily conflicts with all types of group mind so far.

Essentially when we declare ourselves against plagiarism we are for a system which hates to repeat itself--that wants develop, evolve, increase creative power and ability. Even the educational system itself is against such non-repetition.--And how much more so the general population incapable of original work?

So we have the educational system which has never really decisively managed to get at the creative among us and separate them and get a system of non-plagiarism being born threatened now with a collapse by internet into wholesale plagiarism and the natural workings of group mind against education and hopefully for a new type of social order...

But what new type of social order will be born if we do not have some type of consciousness of always trying to get at the creative and push them to the fore?

Now place this problem in the context of supreme court, left and right politics, U.S. Constitution...Am I the only one to see that society is full of problems and that these problems are overwhelming the supreme court and even the U.S. Constitution? I certainly do not reason with the U.S. Constitution in mind...

I reason originally and with every attempt to gain clarity about society to constantly keep it developing. I would warn both right and left wingers that the internet is creating a group mind which explodes concepts of left and right and supreme court and Constitution and that this group mind creates, plagiarizes, remains anonymous or outrageously declares itself at will and that if we want a semblance of order--in fact the correct order--we have to ask (among thousands of questions and to just stick with the problem I am working on of plagiarism) exactly what plagiarism is and what we mean by detecting it and what we expect from detecting it and what we mean by getting at the original...

And I seriously doubt very many of us have the courage to really ask what we mean when we despise plagiarism...To despise plagiarism: to love the original and to separate those incapable of it from those who can create original work.

What are we to make of a supreme court tied to the Constitution, a court non-original but constantly forced due to individual differences--in fact natural laws of development--to make innovations?

An absurd contradiction this supreme court trying to sneak in innovations while pretending to non-originality and the Constitution! Or perhaps even worse, trying with all their might to be exactly non-original and faithful to the Constitution!

But what do I know? I am not a supreme court justice--only a man.

Roger Langille :

The only thing that differs in the Justuse system of Canada from any in the world anywhere is that Canada can change the system with politics like any Free Country. That is if you have the money to fund the Policial parties !

haven :

Anybody foolish enough to think that America does not have similar problems has not been reading the headlines, lately or ever, for that matter. Politics always get involved in the judicial process. Just ask the eight US attorneys who got canned for not towing the Republican line of Dick Cheney's brand of so-called justice. What I want to know is, when do the politicians themselves get judged?

Jacob Jozevs On Pakman & Musharraf :

Letter to Mr. NOON From S.Korea et:

Jacob Jozefz On Dictatorship in Pakman Country:
YO BO SAE OHE Mr. S.J. HOON et al:

I am a retired International Smuggler and my dealing in "PAKMAN" Country et al is very familiar to me. And It has changed very little since Presiden BHUTTO was set-up and executed via the Theocracy & Their Judcuiary by (Osama Bin Ladens best friend Mr. ZIA AL HAQ. NotE: I believe that Mr. MUSHARIFF;s and his guys had in turn killed Zia when his plain failed.

Most of the world do not know this, but It was Zia & His Tribal lordy Pal in The Afghan that established Al Qaeda via the Muhageen (When fighting the USSR in the High 80's.

I predict that Mr. Musharraf will be assasinated for sure this time by Al Quada or he will be executed by those "Judge Ships running the "SHARIA LAW" Or Quasi Sharia courts that are so damn backwards.

Poor Mr. BHUTTO. His dream to make Pakistan the "VANGUARD OF ISLAM" was due to Physicist Mr. Khan succes. So just because they have nuclear bomb does not make them Modern.

With Some people you can take them out of the jungle or Mountains, but you can't take the Mt. or jungle out of them , no matter where you place them. As a Religious Majority, these people are Plyaing the West & work hand & hand with Afghanistan, includin Iranians.

Honey, Heroin. Opium. & Hashish is BIG BUSINESS between these three Nations mentioned.

D.A.N.G.E.R. D.A.N.G.E.R. C/A/U/T/I/O/N/

Maybe our President Mr. Bush was right when he said these two thing that I find WISE.

1) "YOU Are Either With Us Or Against US." Similar.

2) On Pakmans reluctance to help US, "We can BOMB YOU Back To the Stone-Age.." Similar.

WE SHOULD NUKE IRAN-Afghanstan & Pakman ALL AT THE Same-Time and call it a day!



Anonymous :

"The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to everyone exactly the functions in which he is competent ...
- To let the National Government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations ...
- The State Governments with the Civil Rights, Laws, Police and
administration of what concerns the State generally.
- The Counties with the local concerns, and each ward direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these Republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations until it ends in the administration of everyman's business by himself, by placing under everyone what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best....
Why suspend the habeas corpus in insurrections and rebellions?
Examine the history of England. See how few of the cases of the
suspension of the habeas corpus law have been worthy of that
suspension. They have been either real treasons, wherein the parties might as well have been charged at once, or sham plots, where it was shameful they should ever have been suspected. Yet for the few cases wherein the suspension of the habeas corpus has done real good, that operation is now become habitual and the minds of the nation almost prepared to live under its constant suspension."

Thomas Jefferson

patrick :

Mr. Bush was not elected the first term he used the Judicial system to gain his presidency, Judicial malfeasance in action in america. Mr. Bush than has continued to rid America of fair justice by putting in place people loyal to his agenda and not the Constitution to Ag positions nationally. Actual proof of America's broken judicial system, not withstanding the excessive numbers of Black citizens jailed at an excesive level. Black aamerican's make up the majority of the jail population and the minority of the general population. Fear of Black american's in judicial justice is apparant in the injustice of America.

Fleur de Lys, Canada :

Depends what we mean by "political interference", of course...

In Canada, I would call "political interference" the fact that judges are named by politicians, more often than not amongst lawyers who have long been rather "intimate" with the party in power at the time of their nomination. Were we to draw a parallel with the media, we might be right to talk, here, of "political inbeds"... Statistics made public, recently, have confirmed this incestuous relationship.

On that basis, one can well imagine how additional "political interference" may be exercised regularly on initiates, in the legal cult. But as it is with any sect, extreme discretion and secrecy make it most difficult for outsiders to document and prove any impropriety.

One consequence for the community is that judges, in general, happen to favour the status quo. Power hungry, they must have learned early in life how to please rather than rock the boat. To link with the previous discussion on PostGlobal, we could say that "left-wing judge" is very much, therefore, a misnomer.

In light of the above, two observations may be of interest.

1. In Canada, in recent years, governments frequently chose to refrain from taking legislative action, on contentious issues, and simply referred the matters to the courts; noticeably, more for their legal opinions from people they could trust, than to settle any particular dispute. Their tactics put them at an advantage: they would gain time (measured in years!) and (hopefully!) see the issues ultimately disappear.

It is only fair to point out that forced to render unpopular decisions, some rare judges, in their judgments, sternly reminded governments their duty to legislate anew, some laws and regulations having become totally out of line with public consensus.

2. A small number of popular judges (one of them famous for being particularly critical of public services to children, and for siding with children, in juvenile courts) have had to resign, after years of litigation with their peers. It was thus made clear to them, and to citizens, that mavericks were not welcome as judges, in fact did not have their place in the judicial system. If political interference led to those resignations, one is forced to admit it was exercised in a very subtle manner, so as to leave it to the right judges themselves to purge the system of its undesirable elements.

WP readers will no doubt be pleased, therefore, to know they can safely conclude that everything is still quiet, stable and under control, in the Canadian judiciary...

BobL-VA :

No judicial system on the face of this planet is free from politics. Every society interferes with it's judicary in one form or another. We only find it truly objectionable when the intereference is blatant.

Bobster :

No. Our Judicial System is not free from Political Interference. The Judicial System in america thrives on malfeasance, deciet, and favors, which in turn support both political parties policies. Of course if you listen to the left they all state that only the right commits these behaviors. But ask someone from the right and they will tell you its only the left that is guilty of such behaviors. Both parties scream "conspiracy!" every opportunity they get.
The consequences is that many people except for the supporters of the right and the left have to wade through a ton of disingenuous material to find even a glimmer of the truth. If a politician even knows what that word means anymore. We have the same scandals here in our small town as they do in Washington. Just on a much smaller scale. But then again politicains have to cut their teeth and sharpen their claws somewhere before they make it to the so called top. And their antics always make for good TV, be it local or national.

MikeB :

Surely, you jest? I mean, given what is happen here with the Vice President and President and Rove and Attorney General Gonzales *conspiring* to fire U.S. Attorneys based on thie political re'iability? David, you and Fareed, I am sure, have both heard stories of U.S. citizens being harrased by the IRS at the instance of the White House, and I know for a fact that some troops are being punished, recalled to active duty or sent to the most dangerous combat zones, based on comments they make or that are made by their family. As for Pakistan, thaks to the ruthlessness, lack of any morals whatsoever, and shere incompitence of this White House, we will have a nuclear armed Arab state run by Islamic radicals within the net six months. Bush and company will either stand trial for these crimes and serve time in prison, standing forever as an example of what we will do to a President who so abuses his power, or we have no hope whatsoever of surviving a nation.

Anonymous :

Presidential and legislative races in the US often hinge of whether conservative or liberal justices will be appointed to the supreme court. Clearly, the judicial system is manipulated by politics. Justices Alito and Roberts are cases instant. The only saving grace is that some appointees actually follow the law, rather than engage in social engineering.

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