Judicial activism vs. Judicial restraint


The judiciary adjudicates legal disputes and interprets, defends, and applies the law in legal cases. The active role of the judiciary includes upholding and promoting the rights of citizens in a country.

The judiciary also acts as a system that works for the resolution of disputes.

What is Judicial Activism?

In simple words, Judicial Activism is the active role of judges in interpreting the law, breaking the precedent, and finding constitutional violations.

Judges allow their personal views and work on upholding citizens’ rights, preserving the constitutional and legal system through result-oriented judging.

Judicial activism gives access to justice and offers relief to disadvantaged groups of a country.

What do Judicial Activists do?

Judicial activists work to rule on lawsuits in a way that results in a preferred or desired outcome, regardless of what is written in the law. It is the sphere in which judges overrule certain acts or judgments to protect a wider perspective. 

What does Judicial Restraint mean?

Judicial Restraint is the opposite of judicial activism. It refers to limiting the power of the judiciary to strike down a law.

Difference between Judicial Activism and Judicial Restraint

Judicial activism and judicial restraint have different outcomes.

Judicial Activism plays an important role in formulating social policies on civil rights protection and political unfairness.

Judicial Restraint allows courts to state legislature and upload acts of congress unless they violate the constitution.

Judicial Activism sets out a system of balances and controls for the government. It highlights the required change by providing a solution.

Judicial Restraint, the courts by and large concede to interpretations of the constitution by the congress or some other established body.

Judicial Activism allows judges to utilize their personal judgment on issues in case of imbalances. 

Judicial Restraint helps in preserving a balance among the judiciary, executive and legislative branch of government.

Judicial Activism works on courts playing a proactive role in ensuring and protecting citizens’ rights.

Judicial Restraint encourages the court to review an existing law instead of modifying it. 

In conclusion: 

Judicial Restraint is the second face of the coin, whereas Judicial Activism serves as a source that upholds its legal and constitutional rights. It puts obligations on it to follow constitutional laws while implementing its duties. However, Judicial activism can harm the public sometimes as personal or selfish motives may influence the judgment. 

Only a fine balance between these government bodies can maintain constitutional values.