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Judicial discretion is the power of the judiciary to make some legal decisions according to their discretion. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the ability of judges to exercise discretion is an aspect of judicial independence. Where appropriate, judicial discretion allows a judge to decide a legal case or matter within a range of possible decisions. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the following on this subject:

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  • Judicial discretion
  • 自由心証主義
  • 自由心證
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  • 自由心証主義(じゆうしんしょうしゅぎ)とは、訴訟法上の概念で、事実認定・証拠評価について裁判官の自由な判断に委ねることをいう。裁判官の専門的技術・能力を信頼して、その自由な判断に委ねた方が真実発見に資するという考えに基づく。法定証拠主義(恣意的な判断を防止するため、判断基準を法で定めること)の対概念をなす。歴史的には、かつての法定証拠主義から、自由心証主義への変遷がみられる。 なお、自由心証主義といっても、裁判官の全くの恣意的な判断を許すものではない。その判断は論理法則や経験則に基づく合理的なものでなければならない。
  • 自由心證(德语:freien Beweiswürdigung),自由心證是法官作出判決的基礎之一。所謂「自由」,是指法官不受詐欺、脅迫或賄賂等非法外力干擾,擁有自主判斷的能力;而所謂「心證」,是指法官斟酌全辯論意旨及調查證據之結果後,依論理及經驗法則判斷事實之真偽的過程。所以自由心證,並非恣意妄為,而必須依法為之。 「自由心證」這個翻譯是直接借用自日文,將其理解為「自主心證」較不容易誤會其本意。
  • Judicial discretion is the power of the judiciary to make some legal decisions according to their discretion. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the ability of judges to exercise discretion is an aspect of judicial independence. Where appropriate, judicial discretion allows a judge to decide a legal case or matter within a range of possible decisions. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the following on this subject:
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  • Judicial discretion is the power of the judiciary to make some legal decisions according to their discretion. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the ability of judges to exercise discretion is an aspect of judicial independence. Where appropriate, judicial discretion allows a judge to decide a legal case or matter within a range of possible decisions. However, where the exercise of discretion goes beyond constraints set down by legislation, by binding precedent, or by a constitution, the court may be abusing its discretion and undermining the rule of law. In that case, the decision of the court may be ultra vires, and may sometimes be characterized as judicial activism. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the following on this subject: Judicial power, as contradistinguished from the power of the laws, has no existence. Courts are the mere instruments of the law, and can will nothing. When they are said to exercise a discretion, it is a mere legal discretion, a discretion to be exercised in discerning the course prescribed by law; and, when that is discerned, it is the duty of the court to follow it. Judicial power is never exercised for the purpose of giving effect to the will of the judge, always for the purpose of giving effect to the will of the legislature; or, in other words, to the will of the law. Concerns with regard to recidivism and other law and order issues have led to the introduction of mandatory sentencing. E.g. three-strikes laws and most sex offender registry laws in US are examples of laws carrying severe consequences, and which does not leave room for sentencing judges to consider the actual gravity of the offense, thus significantly limiting judicial discretion in sentencing. Introduction of mandatory minimum in criminal sentencing is often viewed as a shift of judicial power from judges to prosecutors, who are capable to affect to the length of potential sentence through their charging decision, e.g. filing charges on lesser included offense and dropping the charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences. Mandatory sentencing laws have been particularly popular among legislators in the United States. This has provoked formation of non-profit organizations such as Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Women Against Registry and RSOL to lobby for reinstatement of judicial discretion in criminal sentencing.
  • 自由心証主義(じゆうしんしょうしゅぎ)とは、訴訟法上の概念で、事実認定・証拠評価について裁判官の自由な判断に委ねることをいう。裁判官の専門的技術・能力を信頼して、その自由な判断に委ねた方が真実発見に資するという考えに基づく。法定証拠主義(恣意的な判断を防止するため、判断基準を法で定めること)の対概念をなす。歴史的には、かつての法定証拠主義から、自由心証主義への変遷がみられる。 なお、自由心証主義といっても、裁判官の全くの恣意的な判断を許すものではない。その判断は論理法則や経験則に基づく合理的なものでなければならない。
  • 自由心證(德语:freien Beweiswürdigung),自由心證是法官作出判決的基礎之一。所謂「自由」,是指法官不受詐欺、脅迫或賄賂等非法外力干擾,擁有自主判斷的能力;而所謂「心證」,是指法官斟酌全辯論意旨及調查證據之結果後,依論理及經驗法則判斷事實之真偽的過程。所以自由心證,並非恣意妄為,而必須依法為之。 「自由心證」這個翻譯是直接借用自日文,將其理解為「自主心證」較不容易誤會其本意。
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