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


  • 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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  • Bhattacharya, Mita & Smyth, Russell, 2001. "The Determinants of Judicial Prestige and Influence: Some Empirical Evidence from the High Court of Australia," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 223-252, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:30:y:2001:i:1:p:223-52

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Reint Gropp & John Karl Scholz & Michelle J. White, 1997. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 217-251.
    2. Che, Yeon-Koo & Schwartz, Alan, 1999. "Section 365, Mandatory Bankruptcy Rules and Inefficient Continuance," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 441-467, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilat Levy, 2005. "Careerist Judges," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 275-297, Summer.
    2. Martin Schneider, "undated". "Erfolgsmessung in Gerichten," German Working Papers in Law and Economics 2004-1-1103, Berkeley Electronic Press.
    3. Dimitrova-Grajzl Valentina & Grajzl Peter & Zajc Katarina & Sustersic Janez, 2012. "Judicial Incentives and Performance at Lower Courts: Evidence from Slovenian Judge-Level Data," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 215-252, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Stephen J. Choi & G. Mitu Gulati, 2008. "Bias in Judicial Citations: A Window into the Behavior of Judges?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 87-129, January.

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