A method for assessment of the independence and accountability of the judiciary

F. van Dijk, Geoffrey Vos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The method outlined in this paper consists of a systematic assessment of the level of independence achieved in practice by national judicial systems throughout Europe, for the purpose of improving the design of judicial arrangements. Accountability of the judiciary is assessed alongside independence as those two concepts are intricately linked. Judicial independence and accountability are both evaluated in relation to the judicial system as a whole, as well as in relation to individual judges. Judicial independence is considered both objectively and subjectively. Specific indicators have been identified for each of these assessments. The whole methodology was applied to the judicial systems of 23 countries in Europe. The main findings of this exercise are summarised in this paper, with the strengths and weaknesses of these judicial systems and the most acute risks to judicial independence identified below.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal for Court Administration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Independence of judiciary
  • accountability of judiciary
  • courts
  • indicators


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