Separation of Powers - Importance of Judicial Independence Essay

2164 Words Nov 6th, 2012 9 Pages
The Jamaican Constitution (hereinafter “the Constitution”) came into effect with the Jamaica Independence Act of 1962. The Act was tabled to ‘make provision for and in connection with, the attainment by Jamaica of fully responsible status within the Commonwealth.’ This document formed the framework for Jamaica’s political independence and created the premise on which this fledgling nation could carve out its own legal system based on its own moral, cultural and political experience. The Constitution though largely reflective of the previous colonial relationship, has within it an innate balance of power between the arms of government that is theoretically and fundamentally positioned to support the country’s self-governance. This balance …show more content…
In exercising this duty, a court can declare a law unconstitutional and therefore null and void as in the case of Adrian Nation, Kereen Wright v DPP and the Attorney General of Jamaica. In Moses Hinds v. The Queen it was underscored that the fair and effective administration of justice constitutionally rests only within the powers of the Judiciary and in Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights Ltd. and Others v. Marshall-Burnett and the Attorney General of Jamaica, the Privy Council overruled the judgment of the Jamaican Appellate Court in finding that the three Bills attempting to remove the Privy Council as the final appellate court were unconstitutional. This decision was based on their previous ruling in Hinds. As demonstrated in other Commonwealth jurisdictions, the Judiciary may indirectly place pressure on the Legislature to ensure that laws are drafted intra vires, in the first instance. In attempting to avoid ultra vires rulings, the Legislative often times “…tests its own legislation in the courts. This occurred in Suratt et al v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago wherein the Trinidad and Tobago Government defended an action on the grounds that a Bill seeking to promote equality was unconstitutional by virtue of its being discriminatory.” This challenge to legislation is

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