The Armed Forces and the Judiciary fulfil the two primary functions of a Sate: the Defence of the Realm and the provision of a justice system. If the State succumbs to its external enemies all is lost. If a State does not uphold law and justice, no other rights can be enforced or entitlements enjoyed. We each therefore, in our separate ways, play a vital role – so that dialogue between us must be welcome and this talk today can be seen as a small part of that dialogue.
To my mind, the Armed Forces and the Judiciary have much in common: a strong professional ethos; values of self discipline and a preference for reality over posturing. There is also one critical difference. Whereas you are, if I may put it that way, the sharp end of the Executive, we are the independent third branch of the State, distinct from both the Legislature and Executive. My aim today is to focus on the working of the judicial system in a modern democracy and, hence, necessarily on the Judiciary, the independent third branch of the State.