Judicial Review

Published 15 Aug 2016

Judicial Review pertains to the authority of the Supreme Court and other courts to review any act of the Executive Branch or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, and the laws passed by the Legislative Branch and to declare them invalid or unconstitutional if their actions are contrary to the provisions of the Constitution. It may be argued that delegation of this awesome power is susceptible to abuse considering that they are not elected representatives of the people. It can also be argued that it is unwise to allow the judiciary to interfere with the functions of the Executive and the Legislative Branches.

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It is true that the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislative are co-equal and independent branches of government. However, it should be emphasized that when the Judiciary reviews an act of the president or law passed by legislatures it is not because it is superior to these departments rather it is merely proclaiming the superiority of the constitution which is the highest and the supreme law of the land. Judicial review is not simply an exercise of authority but a solemn duty and obligation delegated to it by the constitution. It must be stressed that the power of judicial review is inherent in the concept of the Separation of Power and the principle of Checks and Balances. If the constitution has delegated the power to interpret the law to the Judiciary then it follows that the Judiciary was also given the power to declare any act of the President or the Legislature unconstitutional. Otherwise, the power delegated to it by the constitution would be an exercise in futility. Moreover, it cannot be said that justices do not have accountability since they can also be removed from office through the process of impeachment.

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