Research Handbook on Law and Courts
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Research Handbook on Law and Courts

Edited by Susan M. Sterett and Lee D. Walker

The Research Handbook on Law and Courts provides a systematic analysis of new work on courts as governing institutions. Authors consider how courts have taken on regulating fundamental categories of inclusion and exclusion, including citizenship rights. Courts’ centrality to governance is addressed in sections on judicial processes, sub-national courts, and political accountability, all analyzed in multiple legal/political systems. Other chapters turn to analyzing the worldwide push for diversity in staffing courts. Finally, the digitization of records changes both court processes and studying courts. Authors included in the Handbook discuss theoretical, empirical and methodological approaches to studying courts as governing institutions. They also identify promising areas of future research.
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Chapter 30: Data infrastructure innovation in the field of law and courts: the European Court of Human Rights Database (ECHRdb)

Elizabeth Chrun and Rachel Cichowski


This chapter explores data infrastructure innovation in the field of law and courts. In this chapter, we focus on our experience building a judicial decision database, the European Court of Human Rights Database (ECHRdb). The chapter is organized around four elements of the data project: preliminary research and theoretical innovation; data collection and coding; training and mentorship; and accessibility and usability. We conclude the chapter with a broad discussion of data visualization, accessibility, and the future of law and courts research. The core of scientific advancement rests on the ability of researchers to innovate on prior research leading to further scientific advancement. Data projects and platforms that privilege the principle of accessibility within and beyond the scientific community must be the standard in research on law and courts to advance this goal of innovation.

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