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The Determinants of Judicial Prestige and Influence: Some Empirical Evidence from the High Court of Australia


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  • Bhattacharya, Mita
  • Smyth, Russell


This paper uses judicial citation practice to investigate the determinants of judicial influence in the High Court of Australia. First, we construct measures of influence based on the number of times a judge is cited by name in a sample of High Court decisions. The raw citation counts are adjusted to exclude self-citations, depreciation of legal capital, and variations in terms of period in office. Second, our measures of influence are regressed on a series of explanatory variables including age on appointment, appointing government, prior experience, and whether the judge served as chief justice, for each of the 35 retired judges of the High Court. They suggest that younger appointees with prior judicial experience exert more influence per year on the bench. Our results also suggest that conservative appointees exert more influence than Labor appointees and judges who have served as chief justice exert more, influence than puisne judges. Copyright 2001 by the University of Chicago.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Legal Studies.

Volume (Year): 30 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 223-52

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:30:y:2001:i:1:p:223-52

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Cited by:
  1. Ramseyer, J. Mark, 2012. "Talent matters: Judicial productivity and speed in Japan," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 38-48.
  2. Gilat Levy, 2005. "Careerist judges," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 939, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Martin Schneider, . "Erfolgsmessung in Gerichten," German Working Papers in Law and Economics 2004-1-1103, Berkeley Electronic Press.


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