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When are Judges and Bureaucrats Left Independent? Theory and History from Imperial Japan, Postwar Japan, and the United States

  • J. Mark Ramseyer

    (Harvard Law School)

  • Eric B. Rasmusen

    (Kelley School of Business, Indiana University and CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

This is one chapter from the book, Judicial Independence: Economic Theory and Japanese Empirics, that Mark Ramseyer and Eric Rasmusen are writing. In preceding chapters we explain the institutions of modern Japan's judiciary and use regression analysis to test whether judges who rule in ways the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (the LDP) disliked were penalized in their careers. We find that they were for some kinds of cases\involving such things as the constitutionality of the military, injunctions against the national (but not local) government, reapportionment, and electioneering laws. They were not penalized for other kinds of cases\tax and criminal cases. Those results are drawn from our earlier published papers, reorganized and synthesized for the present book. This chapter does not draw on our published work. It asks why the degree and type of independence of judges in modern Japan is different from that of other civil servants. In particular, we compare judges in modern Japan, pre-war Japan, and the United States; and we compare judges with other kinds of public employees, asking why they are not elected and why they are not directly under the control of politicians.

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File URL: http://www.cirje.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/research/dp/2001/2001cf126.pdf
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Paper provided by CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo in its series CIRJE F-Series with number CIRJE-F-126.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2001cf126
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  1. Pablo T. Spiller & Rafael Gely, 1992. "Congressional Control or Judicial Independence: The Determinants of U.S. Supreme Court Labor-Relations Decisions, 1949-1988," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(4), pages 463-492, Winter.
  2. J. Mark Ramseyer & Eric Rasmusen, 1999. "Why Is the Japanese Conviction Rate So High?," Law and Economics 9907001, EconWPA.
  3. de Figueiredo, John M & Tiller, Emerson H, 1996. "Congressional Control of the Courts: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Expansion of the Federal Judiciary," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 435-62, October.
  4. Ramseyer, J Mark, 1994. "The Puzzling (In)dependence of Courts: A Comparative Approach," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 721-47, June.
  5. Moe, Terry M, 1991. "Politics and the Theory of Organization," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 106-29, Special I.
  6. Rasmusen, Eric, 1994. "Judicial Legitimacy as a Repeated Game," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 63-83, April.
  7. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Controlling the Game: Political Sponsors and Bureaus," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 229-47, Fall.
  8. F. Andrew Hanssen, 2004. "Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 712-729, June.
  9. Ramseyer, J Mark & Rasmusen, Eric B, 1997. "Judicial Independence in a Civil Law Regime: The Evidence from Japan," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 259-86, October.
  10. Toma, Eugenia Froedge, 1991. "Congressional Influence and the Supreme Court: The Budget as a Signaling Device," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 131-46, January.
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