A succession of leaders have failed to address its problems.
The Supreme Court judges as of October 2017.
Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images
There are still far too few female, black, Asian and minority ethnic judges.
The social grant saga shows how South African courts are doomed to fail to protect the public from its government.
England and Wales’ most senior justices at the opening of the Supreme Court in 2009.
Fiona Hanson PA Archive/PA Images
At least half of the UK's Supreme Court will retire in the next two years, presenting a prime opportunity for a more representative judiciary.
Protests after death of a 36-year-old woman in custody at immigration detention facility in Arizona.
AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo, File
A short history of legal challenges to immigrant detention practices in the U.S. may shed light on what's to come for the new administration.
Independence Square in Accra, Ghana. The country is indeed free but must improve at delivering justice.
A key argument in support of the jury system is that it is a valued form of citizen participation in democracies. But the system has led to human rights abuses in Ghana.
The next president will have a unique opportunity to mould the Supreme Court bench.
Ken Hammond, US Department of Agriculture
With three current Supreme Court justices aged 78 or older and one seat on the court vacant, the next US president may end up nominating four justices in their first term.
Informed critique of the courts and their work is essential to the proper functioning of a democracy.
A "judicial activist", it seems, decides cases in favour of a preferred (non-“mainstream”) litigant or interest, to reach a result that is inconsistent with a conservative worldview.
South Africa’s Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, left, chats with Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa.
Pessimists aren't asking if the glass in South Africa is half full. They want to know if there's anything in the glass. The answer is a pleasant surprise.
Judge Thokozile Masipa during Oscar Pistorius’ trial in the High Court.
The debate about the quality of High Court judges after the Pistorius trials reflects a different cultural clash in South Africa – one in which incompetence is often associated with black people.
Australia’s method of appointing judges to its highest courts is opaque and informal.
It is no criticism of Australia’s judiciary to say that it would be preferable, both for them and the public, if they took office after a more transparent process.
Advances in science are causing problems in courtrooms.
Despite what we see on television, forensic science is not always easy to understand or simple to convey to a jury, many of whom may not have studied science since they were in school. When a case fails…