Judicial independence and impartiality are the guarantees based on the human rights set forth in national Constitutions and international human rights treaties. An assessment of the Constitutions and the laws on the judiciary proves that in the countries of the Danube region judicial independence is guaranteed on the legislative level. National constitutional courts and the European Court of Human Rights have played an important role in protecting courts against attempts of interference by the executive branch and in strengthening judicial inde-pendence and impartiality. However, while even in well established democracies the freedom from torture or inhuman and degrading treatment, which is an absolute right, is not always respected, recurring and systemic human rights violations are typical for the new democra-cies due to structural deficiencies.