Remarks at a Meeting of the Third Committee on a Briefing by the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

Gregory McElwain
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 17, 2018


We thank Special Rapporteur Mr. Diego García-Sayán for his work to support the independence and autonomy of the judiciary.

We support the principles of judicial independence and separation of powers as foundational elements of the rule of law. We also affirm that safeguarding the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law as laid out in the Washington Treaty are common values that bind us together with our closest allies.

We agree with the Special Rapporteur that reform of the judiciary should strengthen its independence and impartiality.

We oppose efforts by states to subordinate the judiciary to the executive or legislative branches, in violation of international norms and standards on judicial independence.

We urge states considering judicial reforms to ensure such reforms are the result of a transparent and participatory process and serve to protect the judiciary’s ability to check and balance the executive and legislative branches.