Lesson 4: Legal Independence and the Rule of Law


  1. Review some of the cases on www.tryjudging.ca, a website published by the Public Education Committee of the Canadian Superior Courts Judges. These cases are presented in video format and have key questions that may be answered. You can watch the videos, answer the key questions, and submit them for marks.
  1. Research the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh. Summarize the events leading to his arrest and how his trial was conducted. Describe in what ways the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh violated the rule of law.
  1. Research and describe one country where there is concern over its lack of judicial independence. In what ways does that country lack judicial independence? What is the result of not having an independent judiciary?
  1. For example, in Venezuela and Zimbabwe there is a lack of security of tenure. A lack of judicial independence could lead to the government overstepping its bounds and restricting or ignoring the rights and freedoms of its people.