Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Critocracy, dikastocracy, or kritarchy

More and more, judges in Europe and USA fulfil an additional role in the trias politica or separation of powers. Next to their (original) judicial role, they are adopting a legislative role (eg, Shell verdict, ECB vs German Federal Constitutional Court, ECJ vs Polish Constitutional Court) due to the increasing impotence of the belief system Politics, both in Europe and USA. Hence, my blogs on the redundancy of Politics.

This development is sometimes described as critocracy, dikastocracy, or kritarchy. Their meaning is similar. Wiki: “Kritarchy, also called kritocracy, was the system of rule by Biblical judges [] in ancient Israel, [], before the establishment of a united monarchy under Saul.”

Interestingly, some politicians blame such judges for their proactive role, like Dutch politician Thierry Baudet. In my view, this development would not have happened if politicians would have exercised their legislative role. However, American partisanship and the European erosion of its political center parties are resulting in political stalemates. To some extent, these judges are filling the legislative gaps.

A recent Dutch Financial Times article on dikastocracy by philosopher René ten Bos states the following:

It’s a development that fits a complex world: if you cannot convince people with different interests then you force your opinions through court. To some extent, this makes sense. However, what are the consequences if only a judge can rule about right and wrong?

A Dutch quote by philosopher René ten Bos, translated by LO.

In my view, an emerging dikastocracy will accelerate the demise and the redundancy of Politics.

Actually, this is also what politicians like Thierry Baudet have in mind: an end to parliamentary or representative democracy and replacing it by a strongman, like in China, Philippines, Russia and/or Turkey. In their view, a democracy lacks leadership. I’ve some sympathy for that observation but I fear their alternative even more.

Perhaps, we should view these (recent) judicial verdicts as a wake-up call: politicians do your job, else we judges will do it for you.

Some interesting quotes:

“A judge’s loyalty is to the rule of law, not the political party that helped to secure his or her appointment.”

A quote from The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics (2021) by Stephen Breyer (SCOTUS).

“I don’t believe we need a good conservative judge, and I don’t believe we need a good liberal judge. I subscribe to the Justice Potter Stewart standard. He was a justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. And he said the mark of a good judge, good justice, is that when you’re reading their decision, their opinion, you can’t tell if it’s written by a man or woman, a liberal or a conservative, a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian. You just know you’re reading a good judicial decision.”

A 2004 quote by John F. Kerry (b.1943), an American politician and diplomat.

Good Morning Judge (1977) by 10cc
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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