The proper role of the judiciary is one of the most contested issues in contemporary democracies. Yet, the nature of that contestation often varies because the role that the judiciary plays in any particular democracy is determined in large part by the constitutional text, conventions and practice of that jurisdiction, as well as its history and political and legal culture. Too often arguments about the separation of powers are formulated in general terms and overlook the significance of these factors.
 
This conversation series will invite judges from a wide range of jurisdictions, including national and supranational courts, to address questions about the separation of powers in the context of their own jurisdictions. Issues to be explored include the legal and political factors that determine the role of the judiciary, the relationship between the judiciary and other institutions, and the concept of judicial independence.  
 
In convening this series of conversations, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights hopes to foster robust and open conversations about one of the most important questions for constitutional and human rights lawyers everywhere. The series should deepen our understanding of the variation in the role of the judiciary across the world and bring fresh perspectives to debates on the separation of powers.
 
The series was kindly opened by Judge Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque, Judge at the European Court of Human Rights. His opening presentation can be found here, asking the question, is the ECHR facing an existential crisis?
 
Videos are also included within each past event thumbnail, capturing each conversation. So far conversations have been held with Judge Pinto de Albuquerque, the Right Honourable Dame Sian Elias, 12th Chief Justice of New Zealand, Manuel Jose Cepeda Espinosa, former magistrate of the Constitutional Court of Colombia, Justice Dikgang Moseneke of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and former Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa, Judge Joan Donoghue, judge on the International Court of Justice and Judge Theodor Meron, President of the International Residual mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.