Montesquieu

Another great disad­van­tage in monar­chy is for the prince’s minis­ters them­sel­ves to judge conten­tious cau­ses. Still today we see sta­tes where there are innu­me­ra­ble jud­ges to decide fis­cal mat­ters, and where the minis­ters (who would believe it ?) still want to judge them. A flood of obser­va­tions come to mind ; I will make just this one.

There is by the nature of things a sort of contra­dic­tion bet­ween the monarch’s coun­cil and his tri­bu­nals. The coun­cils of kings should be com­po­sed of few per­sons, and judi­cial tri­bu­nals require many. The rea­son is that, in the for­mer, cau­ses must be taken up with a degree of pas­sion, and fol­lo­wed up in the same way, which one can hardly expect from more than four or five men who make it their busi­ness. There must be judi­cial tri­bu­nals which are on the contrary deta­ched, and to which all cau­ses are, in a sense, indif­fe­rent.