We explain what the judiciary is, who makes it up, its functions, powers and other characteristics.
What is the judiciary?
The judiciary is one of the three public powers in which the State is traditionally organized , according to Montaigne’s theory of separation of powers.
The judiciary is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Law . That is, it deals with the resolution of conflicts in society following what is dictated by the Constitution or the corresponding legal system.
The judiciary is made up of courts and tribunals , which are judicial and jurisdictional bodies. They must deal with disputes both between public authorities and between individuals, or even between the latter and the State.
Thus it is possible to make the pertinent decisions that allow justice in society, punishing the transgressor, repairing the damaged and guaranteeing the rule of law . For this, this power is structured in a long hierarchical organizational chart of courts, courts and instances, to face the conflict at the different levels at which it occurs.
The role of the judiciary in society is very old, although not always trained and impartial judges, but kings, sages or even the elders of the tribe.
On the other hand, the presence of an element that provides a common criterion of justice to society is indispensable for life in common. This prevents people from taking justice by their own hands, engendering spirals of violence that later become very complicated to resolve in a peaceful manner.
Characteristics of the judiciary
The judiciary must necessarily be governed by the principles of impartiality, proportionality and due process . This ensures that a crime committed receives fair punishment, not only with whoever was violated, but with the violator himself.
That is, the judiciary must attend to the Law above all things, which allows it to even judge the actions of the other public authorities, when they contradict the provisions of the Constitution governing the State.
On the other hand, the judiciary is the only one of the public powers that is not elected by direct vote of the population , but by judgment of merit and evaluation by the other public powers, also responsible for relegitimating or changing it. However, the judiciary itself must ensure that even the election of its members occurs within the framework of the Law.
Who makes up the judiciary?
The judiciary is made up of a hierarchical set of courts and tribunals . There justice is exercised by reviewing the evidence, the arguments and the provisions of the laws themselves.
In charge of this work are academically trained judges in the field, who deal with the matter in a completely impartial manner and, finally, also proceed as established in laws and judicial protocols .
The different judicial instances are made up of the body of judges and lawyers (defenders and accusers). Each one is dedicated to a specific aspect of the law, such as criminal , administrative , civil , constitutional , etc., and is highly specialized in it.
At the same time, this power is organized in a pyramidal and hierarchical structure, on whose top is the Supreme Court of Justice, and then as many courts as there are steps down, going from the most general (the country) to the most particular (the municipality , for example).
Functions and powers of the judiciary
The judiciary is responsible for sustaining justice and therefore peace. Its fundamental role is to guarantee the rule of law , that is, that all cases judged are evaluated using the same legal criteria, although taking into account the mitigating factors of the case.
In fulfilling these functions, the judiciary also serves as the regulator of the other two public authorities , preventing them from taking actions outside the Constitution. If they do so, they are entitled to declare their nullity and demand the opening of investigations with a view to penalizing those responsible.
Everything that requires a judicial decision-making process enters into the functions of the judiciary: from resolving a neighborhood conflict, determining the punishment of a cell phone thief or investigating a corrupt official, to interpreting an article of the Constitution to decide whether A law may or may not be enforced.
Other public powers
Together with the judiciary, the public authorities of the State include:
- Executive power . Conformed by the president or prime minister of the country, along with his ministerial train, governors, mayors and other personal positions of public election, it is the power in charge of taking the wheel of the State, taking the political decisions that are pertinent.
- Legislature . It can be constituted by a parliament of a single chamber (integrated by deputies) or of two chambers (integrated by deputies and senators). Its function is to write, approve, modify or repeal laws. In addition, manage and control the national budget.