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Abstract from

The Judicial Commission of NSW: Treading a Fine Line between Judicial Independence and Judicial Accountability

Ivan Potas is the Director of Research at the New South Wales Judicial Commission.

The tension between the twin requirements of judicial accountability and judicial independence are explored by Potas is his discussion of the role and functions of the NSW Judicial Commission, the only body of its type in Australia. Potas describes the background to the creation of the Commission in 1986 and its current structure and jurisdiction. Apart from its complaints functions, the Commission is also active in judicial education and assistance for sentencers in the provision of relevant data. Potas argues that the operation of the Commission has not compromised judicial independence but has `raised the bar' relating to judicial accountability. A significant pattern, also discussed in the paper, is increased public attention being given to the conduct and comments of judicial officers, not only on the bench, but equally important, off the bench.

(2001) 18(1) Law in Context 102
Keywords: Judicial independence; Judicial accountability

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