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Common Law Judging

Subjectivity, Impartiality, and the Making of Law

Douglas E. Edlin (author)

ISBN: 9780472130023

Publication Date: Jul 2016

Format: Hardback

Are judges supposed to be objective? Citizens, scholars, and legal professionals commonly assume that subjectivity and objectivity are opposites, with the corollary that subjectivity is a vice and objectivity is a virtue. These assumptions underlie passionate debates over adherence to original intent and judicial activism. Douglas Edlin challenges these widely held assumptions by reorienting the entire discussion.
£62.95

Temporarily out of stock: usually despatched in 10-14 days

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Are judges supposed to be objective? Citizens, scholars, and legalprofessionals commonly assume that subjectivity and objectivity areopposites, with the corollary that subjectivity is a vice and objectivity is avirtue. These assumptions underlie passionate debates over adherenceto original intent and judicial activism.

In Common Law Judging, Douglas Edlin challenges these widely heldassumptions by reorienting the entire discussion. Rather than analyzejudging in terms of objectivity and truth, he argues that we shouldinstead approach the role of a judge's individual perspective in terms ofintersubjectivity and validity. Drawing upon Kantian aesthetic theory aswell as case law, legal theory, and constitutional theory, Edlin develops anew conceptual framework for the respective roles of the individual judgeand of the judiciary as an institution, as well as the relationship betweenthem, as integral parts of the broader legal and political community.Specifically, Edlin situates a judge's subjective responses within a formof legal reasoning and reflective judgment that must be communicated todifferent audiences.

Edlin concludes that the individual values and perspectives of judgesare indispensable both to their judgments in specific cases and to theindependence of the courts. According to the common law tradition,judicial subjectivity is a virtue, not a vice.

Reviews

"The theme development, writing, and subtlety of analysis of anextraordinary range of cases and scholarly works are superb. This book is‘must' reading for scholars of the common law, jurisprudence, and legalhistory, as well as of the Supreme Court, lesser courts, and law and socialchange." - Ronald Kahn, Oberlin College
Pages 312
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Jul 2016
Publisher University of Michigan Press
Subject/s Law  
Douglas E. Edlin is Associate Professor of Political Science at DickinsonCollege.

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