Pros and cons of judicial activism

Pros & Cons Of Judicial Activism:

Judicial Activism in simple words means when judges interrupt their own personal feelings into a conviction or sentence, instead of upholding the existing laws. For some reason, every judicial case has a base of activism within it, so it is imperative to weigh the pros and cons to determine the aptness of the course of action being carried out. 


  • Judicial Activism sets out a system of balances and controls to the other branches of the government. It accentuates required innovation by way of a solution.
  • In cases where the law fails to establish a balance, Judicial Activism allows judges to use their personal judgment.
  • It places trust in judges and provides insights into the issues. The oath of bringing justice to the country by the Judges does not change with judicial activism. It only allows judges to do what they see fit within rationalised limits. Thus showing the instilled trust placed in the justice system and its judgments.
  • Judicial Activism helps the judiciary to keep a check on the misuse of power by the state government when it interferes and harms the residents. 
  • In the issue of majority, It helps address problems hastily where the legislature gets stuck in taking decisions.


  • Firstly, when it surpasses its power to stop and misuse or abuse of power by the government. In a way, it limits the functioning of the government. 
  • It clearly violates the limit of power set to be exercised by the constitution when it overrides any existing law. 
  • The judicial opinions of the judges once taken for any case becomes the standard for ruling other cases.
  • Judicial activism can harm the public at large as the judgment may be influenced by personal or selfish motives. 
  • Repeated interventions of courts can diminish the faith of the people in the integrity, quality, and efficiency of the government.

Why is Judicial Activism needed in India?

  • When the legislature fails to make the necessary legislation to suit the changing times and governmental agencies fail miserably to perform their administrative functions sincerely, it leads to an erosion of the confidence of the citizens in the constitutional values and democracy. In such a scenario, the judiciary steps into the areas usually earmarked for the legislature and executive and the result is the judicial legislation and a government by judiciary.
  • In case the fundamental rights of the people are trampled by the government or any other third party, the judges may take upon themselves the task of aiding the ameliorating conditions of the citizens.
  • The greatest asset and the strongest weapon in the armoury of the judiciary is the confidence it commands and the faith it inspires in the minds of the people in its capacity to do even-handed justice and keep; the scales in balance in any dispute.


When the judiciary surpasses the line of the powers set for it in the name of judicial activism, it could be rightly said that the judiciary then begins to invalidate the concept of separation of powers set out in the Constitution. If judges can freely decide and make laws of their choices, it would not only go against the principle of separation of powers but will result in chaos and uncertainty in the law as every judge will start writing his own laws according to his fads and quirks. Judicial exercise has to be respected to maintain a clear balance. Making laws is the function and duty of the legislature, to fill the gap of laws and to implement them in a proper manner. So that the only work remaining for the judiciary is interpretations. Only a fine equilibrium between these government bodies can sustain the constitutional values.

Aishwarya Says:

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