As a consequence of the constitutional protection of separation of powers at both federal and state level, judges and lawyers in Australia enjoy a high degree of independence.
However, the integrity of the system is undermined by legislation that limits the exercise of judicial discretion and limits judicial review of administrative decisions. Independence may also be compromised by the absence of appropriate guarantees regarding salary and tenure for state and territory judges, and for tribunal members who effectively exercise judicial power.
Australians do not enjoy complete access to justice due to deficiencies in legal aid funding and the refusal of the courts to acknowledge fully the right to legal representation at public expense in criminal proceedings. In addition, new counter-terrorism legislation abrogates internationally recognized due process rights.
Australia-Attacks on Justice 2005-Publications-2008 (full text, PDF)Attacks on Justice 2005Publications