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Judicial Independence: Some Evidence from the English Court of Appeal

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Author Info

  • Salzberger, Eli
  • Fenn, Paul

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the existence or otherwise of conscious political interference with judicial decision taking. We produce new evidence from the English Court of Appeal to shed some light on the theoretical debate on judicial independence. This evidence rests on the fact that the procedure for promoting judges from the Court of Appeal to the House of Lords is in principle under political control: the lord chancellor, who has a key role in the promotion of judges, is a member of the cabinet and as such a political appointee. The data relate to public law decisions made by judges in the Court of Appeal over the period 1951-86. We use a competing risks survival model to establish whether the record of individual judges in deciding for or against the government was a factor that determined their promotion chances, controlling for the quality of their decision making. Copyright 1999 by the University of Chicago.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 831-47

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:42:y:1999:i:2:p:831-47

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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Cited by:
  1. Russell Smyth & Magnus Söderberg, 2010. "Public interest versus regulatory capture in the Swedish electricity market," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 292-312, December.
  2. Gilat Levy, 2005. "Careerist Judges," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 275-297, Summer.
  3. Gilat Levy, 2005. "Careerist judges," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 939, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Padovano, Fabio & Fiorino, Nadia, 2012. "Strategic delegation and “judicial couples” in the Italian Constitutional Court," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 215-223.
  5. Martin Schneider, 2005. "Judicial Career Incentives and Court Performance: An Empirical Study of the German Labour Courts of Appeal," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 127-144, September.
  6. Smyth, Russell & Bhattacharya, Mita, 2003. "How fast do old judges slow down?: A life cycle study of aging and productivity in the Federal Court of Australia," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 141-164, June.
  7. Christian Almer & Timo Goeschl, 2011. "The political economy of the environmental criminal justice system: a production function approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 611-630, September.
  8. Gilat Levy, 2003. "Careerist judges," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3621, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Pablo T. Spiller & Sanny Liao, 2006. "Buy, Lobby or Sue: Interest Groups' Participation in Policy Making - A Selective Survey," NBER Working Papers 12209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Pushkar Maitra & Russell Smyth, 2004. "Judicial Independence, Judicial Promotion and the Enforcement of Legislative Wealth Transfers—An Empirical Study of the New Zealand High Court," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 209-235, March.
  11. Fabio Padovano, 2009. "The time-varying independence of Italian peak judicial institutions," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 230-250, September.

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