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Beyond Judicial Independence: Rule of Law and Judicial Accountabilities in Assessing Democratic Quality

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

Judicial independence is traditionally deemed to ensure citizens about the impartiality of adjudication and, by doing so, to guarantee the legitimacy of the authoritative allocation of power that is exercised by a non-elective actor, that is, the judge. However, despite its relevance, this concept in itself cannot cast a proper light on the dynamics and the logics of action judicial actors follow in prosecuting and adjudicating cases. In this paper, the author retains this judicial accountability, with its multiple dimensions, and argues that this may provide promising insights on judicial governance and, accordingly, on the type of constitutionalism exhibited by a country or, as proved in the last section of the paper, in a multi-level system of governance, as the EU. The paper associates the reconstruction of judicial governance with the assessment of democratic quality.


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