Hon. Anna H. Demacopoulos (Ret.), who sat on the Cook County (Illinois) Circuit Court, recently participated in an episode of the Chicago Bar Association’s “You and the Law” talk show series. Judge Demacopoulos joined host Michael Alkaraki, partner at Leahy Hoste Alkaraki; Justice David K. Overstreet of the Illinois Supreme Court; and Judge Lloyd James Brooks of the Cook County Circuit Court Chancery Division. In this episode, the panelists explore the topic of judicial independence and how it protects and promotes democracy.
The conversation starts with a discussion of the creation of the Illinois Judges Association’s Judicial Independence Declaration as a tool to promote education and understanding regarding the importance of the judiciary as an independent branch of government, and how citizens participate in the judicial process through elections. The conversation then moves to the role of the judiciary in enforcing the will of the people as set forth by the constitution and through the interpretation of laws. The panelists also discuss how the power of the judiciary is reliant upon citizen trust in individual judgments and the collective authority of the court system. They reinforce this point by weighing in on how for the branch to serve as a check and balance and support the democratic system, judges must be able to make decisions free of outside influences.
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