Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series
Edited by Theodore Eisenberg and Giovanni B. Ramello
Chapter 8: Iron fist in a velvet glove? Judicial behavior in mixed courts
Judicial behavior has been a regular focus of theory and research in law and economics, in empirical legal studies, and in political science (Boyd, Epstein, and Martin 2010; Epstein, Landes, and Posner 2013; Teichman and Zamir 2014). Theorists and empirical researchers have examined the factors that influence judicial decision making in both trial and appeals courts, and have documented the extent to which judicial characteristics and judicial preferences are incorporated into verdicts and legal opinions. Some scholars analyze judicial decision making through the lens of rational choice theory (Epstein et al. 2013); others emphasize the importance of judges’ attitudes to their decisions (Segal and Spaeth 1993; 2002). One line of scholarship has revealed the susceptibility of judges to the heuristics and biases that afflict ordinary citizens (Rachlinski, Johnson, Wistrich, and Guthrie 2009; Teichman and Zamir 2014). Other research has discovered that the composition of appellate panels of judges significantly influences case outcomes (Eisenberg, Fisher, and Rosen-Zvi 2012; Lindquist, Martinek, and Hettinger 2007). Much of the existing empirical research on judicial behavior, however, has focused on the decision making of judges in common law jurisdictions.
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