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The United Nations Principles to Combat Impunity: A Commentary edited by Haldemann, Frank; Unger, Thomas (22nd March 2018)

Part III The Right to Justice, C Restrictions on Rules of Law Justified By Action to Combat Impunity, Principle 30 Restrictions on the Principle of the Irremovability of Judges

Christopher Gosnell

From: The United Nations Principles to Combat Impunity: A Commentary

Edited By: Frank Haldemann, Thomas Unger

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 15 October 2019

Subject(s):
Human rights — Judges — Truth and Reconciliation Commissions

Principle 30 deals with restrictions on the principle of the irremovability of judges. Judicial independence, both institutional and individual, is essential in any justice system and must be respected in a trans-regime setting. At the same time, it is necessary for the judiciary to adjudicate the crimes of a past regime with adequate vigour. This can present a major dilemma between necessary continuity and necessary reform, one that Principle 30 is designed to address. According to Principle 30, judges may not be removed if they were appointed ‘in conformity with the requirements of the rule of law’, but may be removed if they were ‘unlawfully appointed’ or ‘derive their judicial power from an act of allegiance’. This chapter first provides a contextual and historical background on Principle 30 before discussing its theoretical framework and how judges are treated in a trans-regime setting.

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