Judicial Activism and the Death of Rule of Law
Heydon J Rule of Law:
Core elements of the Rule of Law
The interpretation of the law according to case law and legislation by competent judges doing so incorruptibly
Absent explicit parliamentary legislation to the contrary, the most important material or personal interests of one citizen cannot be radically damaged against that citizen’s wishes by another citizen, a corporation, or an arm of government
Prevents citizens being exposed to the uncontrolled decisions of others in conflict with them.
Officers of the state are not permitted to imprison or otherwise deal forcibly with citizens or their property merely because they think it is their duty to do so. Mobs are not able to loot or lynch their enemies at will.
A bar to untrammeled discretionary power. This is achieved by an independent arbiter not affected by self-interest or partisan duty, applying a set of principles, rules and procedures having objective existence and operating in paramountcy to any other organ of state and to any other source of power, and possessing a measure of independence from the wrath of disgruntled governments or other groups
Operates on principles which are known or readily discoverable and hence do not change erratically without notice; which are reasonably clear; which apply uniformly and generally, not in a discriminatory way; which apply prospectively, not retroactively; and which are in force through public trials operating on rational procedural rules before judges who are independent of the state and of all parties.