Judiciary is the third organ of the government. Ordinarily it is not considered to rank equal to the other two: but it is a mistaken view. Its importance is as great, if not greater, as that of the executive and the legislature. Henry Sidgwick has rightly emphasised that “the importance of the judiciary in political construction is rather profound than prominent. On the one hand, in popular discussion of forms and changes of government, the judicial organ often drops out of sight; on the other hand, in determining a nation’s rank in political civilisation, no test is more decisive than the degree in which justice, as defined by the law, is actually realised in its judicial administration, both as between one private citizen and another, and as between private citizens and members of the government.”
It performs certain functions which are so very necessary for the life and happiness of the citizens. It ascertains and protects rights and liberties of the citizens. It punishes crime, and protects the innocent from injury and usurpation. There is no better test for excellence of a government than the efficiency of its judicial system, for nothing more nearly touches the welfare and security of the average citizen than the feeling that he can rely on the certain and prompt administration of justice. Justice is the foundation of the States.49 Indeed, as Laski says, the judicial processes and procedures, in spite of their forbiddingly technical character, are more closely related to liberty than the splendid sentences in which Rousseau depicts the conditions of its attainment.
Lord Bryce paints a dismal picture if the judiciary fails to work properly and honestly. He says: “If the law be dishonestly administered, the salt has lost its flavour; if it be weakly or fitfully enforced, the guarantee of order fails, for it is more by the certainty than by the severity of punishment that offenders are repressed. If the lamp of justice eyes out in darkness, how great is that darkness.