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The role of the judiciary in transitional countries: the example of Eastern European countries

Open Panel

Abstract

There is an increasing awareness that the Rule of Law reforms are necessary to enable democratic sustainability and socio-economic wealth. An independent and accountable judiciary is essential to underpin the democratic principles and to the fight against corruption. Putting an end or minimizing the political influence of the judiciary is a permanent challenge, even in long established democracies. The establishment of independent bodies that govern the judiciary, the regulation of disciplinary procedures for judges, the education of judges in the culture of human rights, the implementation of the ECHR''s case law by the national courts and the enforcement of ECHR''s sentences by the States are some of the elements that need to be addressed in the establishment of independent courts. Without independent courts, the system of checks and balances essential in every democracy, will not be real. Without an independent judiciary it is not only impossible to establish a democratic system, but there is the real risk that complex forms of criminality, such as terrrorism, corruption and other forms of organized crime, increase.