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Law in Context

Abstract from Volume 18 No 1 (2001) Reshaping the Judiciary

Can Public Sector Approaches to Accountability be Applied to the Judiciary

Elizabeth Handsley is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Flinders University of South Australia.

Despite the popular and common usage of the phrase `judicial accountability,' the precise meaning(s) of the term requires critical examination. In this paper, Handsley considers the notion of accountability as that term was first used in the context of reforms within the Australian Public Service (APS) in the 1980's, and develops a framework of principles and philosophies which grounded the meaning of accountability within that context. The paper then compares and contrasts the extent to which those philosophies and principles can be applicable to the judiciary in order to illuminate the ways in which judicial accountability can be similar to, and different from, accountability within the APS. Handsley argues there is little scope for such application although the notion of government as `public trust' is a useful common denominator.

(2001) 18(1) Law in Context 62
Keywords: Judicial accountability; Managerialism

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