Judicial Activism: Definition, Pros and Cons
The tenure of Chief Justice Saqib Nisar ended on January 17 2018, but he has left remarkable footprints due to some of his decisions and actions. In his tenure, he made historic judgments like the ‘acquittal of Asia Bibi’ and performed actions like ‘establishment of dam fun’. He highlighted the issues of public concern. While many people praise his actions, there are many who are critic of his actions and use the term ‘judicial activism’.
Whatever may be the reality, it is important to understand what the judicial activism actually is and what are its pros and cons.
While it is legislature that makes the law, judicial activism is when a judge interprets a law based on his own personal view. Actually, judicial activism means court ruling based on purely personal and political reasoning.
Judicial Activism Pros
· Social Reforms
The judges are exposed to a variety of cases on daily basis. They deal with the problems of people through the cases they hear. So, they can take certain decision to address such issues or bring insights to address public concerns.
· Keeping a Check on Legislature
It is legislature’s job to make laws of a country. However, it is judiciary that keeps a check on legislature that fails to do function properly. Actually, judiciary aims to solve those matters that are against the welfare of the people. When a government fails to do its job, it is judiciary that intervenes as the legislature may take long to make new laws.
· It Can Provide Some Helpful insights
Many issues require certain amount of care that is not allowed by certain laws. In this situation, the judges can intervene and use their personal judgment when legislative may fall short.
Judicial Activism Cons
· Separation of Power
Sometimes it may seem reasonable for the judiciary to interfere into the matters of the legislature and judicial activism becomes highly important. But, what will happen if the legislature starts executing the powers of judiciary. It is the mandate of the people to choose their lawmakers.
· Lack of Competence
It is not fair for one branch of the government to interfere into the matters of the other and use the powers of other part. When making laws, the judiciary may fall short due to lack of knowledge and expertise.
· Public Representation
The legislatures or the members of the parliament are elected by the people. They are entrusted with the task of making laws. On the other hand, the members of the judiciary are not chosen by people and are not supposed to make laws.
Judicial activism has its pros and cons. However, judges moving forward for the welfare of the public and abolishing the unconstitutional laws should not be considered as encroachment into the domain of the legislature. After all, judiciary is there to provide justice.