In ancient times much attention was not paid towards the independence of judiciary and the monarchs wielded executive, legislative and judicial powers. Later on it was realized that it did not ensure full justice. Bodin and Montesquieu emphasised the independence of judiciary. Today in all democratic countries, the independence of judiciary is considered essential so that the fundamental rights of the people are protected.
That is why in democratic countries, judiciary is considered the guardian of the freedom of the people and also of the constitution. In countries, where there is no democracy, the judiciary is not free, and the fundamental rights of the people are not protected. This is the position in Spain, Portugal, Russia, China and other Communist countries.
Thus independence of judiciary is essential for the protection of the freedom and the rights of the people. Bryce has rightly said, “There are no better test of excellence of a Government than the efficiency of its judicial system, for nothing more nearly touches the welfare and security of the average citizen than his knowledge that he can rely on the certain and prompt administration of justice”.
Bryce has further said, “Law is respected and supported when it is trusted as the shield of innocence and the impartial guardian of every private civil right….if the law be dishonestly administered, the salt has lost its flavour, if it be weakly or fitfully enforced, the guarantees of order fail if the lamp of justice goes out in darkness, how great is that darkness.
Therefore, the judiciary is regarded as the guardian of the rights and freedoms of the people and also of the constitution. In many countries the judiciary is the adviser to the executive in legal matters.
Bryce says, “The significance of Judiciary is emphasized by Marriot who observes, ‘It matters not how elaborate the machinery of legislation may be, how scientific the product, how perfect the organisation of the executive, the life of individual citizen may nevertheless be rendered miserable, his person and property will be alike insecure, if there be any defect or delay in the administration of justice or any partiality or ambiguity in the interpretation of law”.
Garner also observes: “A society without legislative organs is conceivable and indeed, fully developed legislative organs did not make their appearance in the life of the state until modern times, but a civilized state without judicial organs is hardly conceivable”. Thus the judiciary is essential. In the absence of judiciary the thieves, dacoits and other tough people will usurp the property of the gentry and of the weak persons through force and violence.
There will be widespread injustice in the society. Therefore, the judiciary is essential for maintaining peace and imparting justice, and also for the enjoyment of fundamental rights.