The Judge in a Democracy

Author: Aharon Barak

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400827043

Category: Law

Page: 368

View: 9680

Whether examining election outcomes, the legal status of terrorism suspects, or if (or how) people can be sentenced to death, a judge in a modern democracy assumes a role that raises some of the most contentious political issues of our day. But do judges even have a role beyond deciding the disputes before them under law? What are the criteria for judging the justices who write opinions for the United States Supreme Court or constitutional courts in other democracies? These are the questions that one of the world's foremost judges and legal theorists, Aharon Barak, poses in this book. In fluent prose, Barak sets forth a powerful vision of the role of the judge. He argues that this role comprises two central elements beyond dispute resolution: bridging the gap between the law and society, and protecting the constitution and democracy. The former involves balancing the need to adapt the law to social change against the need for stability; the latter, judges' ultimate accountability, not to public opinion or to politicians, but to the "internal morality" of democracy. Barak's vigorous support of "purposive interpretation" (interpreting legal texts--for example, statutes and constitutions--in light of their purpose) contrasts sharply with the influential "originalism" advocated by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. As he explores these questions, Barak also traces how supreme courts in major democracies have evolved since World War II, and he guides us through many of his own decisions to show how he has tried to put these principles into action, even under the burden of judging on terrorism.
Posted in Law

The Judge in a Democracy

Author: Aharon Barak

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691120171

Category: Law

Page: 332

View: 6384

'focus[es] mainly on courts of legal systems that belong to the common law family, such as the United States, England, Canada, Australia, and a number of mixed jurisdictions, such as South Africa, Scotland, Cyorus and Israel ... [it] also applies substantially to other legal systems, such as the Roman-Germanic family, inlcuding France, Italy, Germany, Austria and the family of Scandinavian systems ... [it] is also alid for legal systems that have emerged from the family of socialist systems, such as Russia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.' --p. xvii.
Posted in Law

The Judge in a Democracy

Author: Aharon Barak

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691136158

Category: Law

Page: 368

View: 503

Whether examining election outcomes, the legal status of terrorism suspects, or if (or how) people can be sentenced to death, a judge in a modern democracy assumes a role that raises some of the most contentious political issues of our day. But do judges even have a role beyond deciding the disputes before them under law? What are the criteria for judging the justices who write opinions for the United States Supreme Court or constitutional courts in other democracies? These are the questions that one of the world's foremost judges and legal theorists, Aharon Barak, poses in this book. In fluent prose, Barak sets forth a powerful vision of the role of the judge. He argues that this role comprises two central elements beyond dispute resolution: bridging the gap between the law and society, and protecting the constitution and democracy. The former involves balancing the need to adapt the law to social change against the need for stability; the latter, judges' ultimate accountability, not to public opinion or to politicians, but to the "internal morality" of democracy. Barak's vigorous support of "purposive interpretation" (interpreting legal texts--for example, statutes and constitutions--in light of their purpose) contrasts sharply with the influential "originalism" advocated by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. As he explores these questions, Barak also traces how supreme courts in major democracies have evolved since World War II, and he guides us through many of his own decisions to show how he has tried to put these principles into action, even under the burden of judging on terrorism.
Posted in Law

Judges in Contemporary Democracy

An International Conversation

Author: Justice Stephen Breyer,Robert Badinter

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814789714

Category: Law

Page: 317

View: 8891

Law, politics, and society in the modern West have been marked by the increasing power of the judge: the development of constitutional justice, the evolution of international judiciaries, and judicial systems that extend even further into social life. Judges make decisions that not only enforce the law, but also codify the values of our times. In the summer of 2000, an esteemed group of judges and legal scholars met in Provence, France, to consider the role of the judge in modern society. They included Robert Badinter, former president of the Constitutional Council in France; Stephen Breyer, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; Antonio Cassese, the first president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; Dieter Grimm, former vice president of the Constitutional Court of Germany; Gil Carlos Rodriguez, president of the Court of Justice of the European Union; and Ronald Dworkin, formerly of Oxford University, now professor of philosophy and law at the New York University Law School. What followed was an animated discussion ranging from the influence of the media on the judiciary to the development of an international criminal law to the judge's consideration of the judge's own role. Judges in Contemporary Democracy offers a rare and intimate glimpse into the powers and the role of judges in today's society.
Posted in Law

Purposive Interpretation in Law

Author: Aharon Barak

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400841267

Category: Law

Page: 448

View: 2997

This book presents a comprehensive theory of legal interpretation, by a leading judge and legal theorist. Currently, legal philosophers and jurists apply different theories of interpretation to constitutions, statutes, rules, wills, and contracts. Aharon Barak argues that an alternative approach--purposive interpretation--allows jurists and scholars to approach all legal texts in a similar manner while remaining sensitive to the important differences. Moreover, regardless of whether purposive interpretation amounts to a unifying theory, it would still be superior to other methods of interpretation in tackling each kind of text separately. Barak explains purposive interpretation as follows: All legal interpretation must start by establishing a range of semantic meanings for a given text, from which the legal meaning is then drawn. In purposive interpretation, the text's "purpose" is the criterion for establishing which of the semantic meanings yields the legal meaning. Establishing the ultimate purpose--and thus the legal meaning--depends on the relationship between the subjective and objective purposes; that is, between the original intent of the text's author and the intent of a reasonable author and of the legal system at the time of interpretation. This is easy to establish when the subjective and objective purposes coincide. But when they don't, the relative weight given to each purpose depends on the nature of the text. For example, subjective purpose is given substantial weight in interpreting a will; objective purpose, in interpreting a constitution. Barak develops this theory with masterful scholarship and close attention to its practical application. Throughout, he contrasts his approach with that of textualists and neotextualists such as Antonin Scalia, pragmatists such as Richard Posner, and legal philosophers such as Ronald Dworkin. This book represents a profoundly important contribution to legal scholarship and a major alternative to interpretive approaches advanced by other leading figures in the judicial world.
Posted in Law

Making Our Democracy Work

A Judge's View

Author: Stephen G. Breyer

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307390837

Category: Law

Page: 270

View: 7809

A Supreme Court justice outlines an accessible profile of the legislative branch's duties that explains its responsibility to safeguard the public while ensuring the cooperation of other government branches, sharing the stories behind key historical decisions. By the author of Active Liberty. Reprint. A best-selling book.
Posted in Law

Understanding the Rule of Law

Author: Geert Corstens

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 150990364X

Category: Law

Page: 152

View: 7360

The 'rule of law' is increasingly regarded as integral to liberal democracy, and its significance is frequently discussed by lawyers, academics, politicians and the media. But the meaning of the phrase is not always clear. What does 'the rule of law' mean exactly? And why is it so important to the democratic state and, above all, its citizens? In Understanding the Rule of Law, former president of the Dutch Supreme Court Geert Corstens paints a lively and accessible portrait of the rule of law in practice. The focus is on the role of the courts, where the tensions in a democratic state governed by the rule of law are often discussed and resolved. Using landmark judgments, Geert Corstens explains what judges do and why their work is valuable. What do minimum sentences and prisoners' voting rights have to do with each other? Why is there no easy answer to the question of whether a paedophile organisation should be banned? Why is it no joke when the Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi calls the judiciary 'the cancer of democracy'? Understanding the Rule of Law provides the answers to these and many other questions, and is essential reading for anyone interested in the state of democracy today.
Posted in Law

The Judge as Political Theorist

Contemporary Constitutional Review

Author: David Robertson

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400836871

Category: Political Science

Page: 432

View: 4895

The Judge as Political Theorist examines opinions by constitutional courts in liberal democracies to better understand the logic and nature of constitutional review. David Robertson argues that the constitutional judge's role is nothing like that of the legislator or chief executive, or even the ordinary judge. Rather, constitutional judges spell out to society the implications--on the ground--of the moral and practical commitments embodied in the nation's constitution. Constitutional review, in other words, is a form of applied political theory. Robertson takes an in-depth look at constitutional decision making in Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Canada, and South Africa, with comparisons throughout to the United States, where constitutional review originated. He also tackles perhaps the most vexing problem in constitutional law today--how and when to limit the rights of citizens in order to govern. As traditional institutions of moral authority have lost power, constitutional judges have stepped into the breach, radically altering traditional understandings of what courts can and should do. Robertson demonstrates how constitutions are more than mere founding documents laying down the law of the land, but increasingly have become statements of the values and principles a society seeks to embody. Constitutional judges, in turn, see it as their mission to transform those values into political practice and push for state and society to live up to their ideals.
Posted in Political Science

The Court and the World

American Law and the New Global Realities

Author: Stephen Breyer

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1101912073

Category: Law

Page: 400

View: 783

"In this original, far-reaching, and timely book, Justice Stephen Breyer examines the work of the Supreme Court of the United States in an increasingly interconnected world, a world in which all sorts of activity, both public and private--from the conduct of national security policy to the conduct of international trade--obliges the Court to understand and consider circumstances beyond America's borders. It is a world of instant communications, lightning-fast commerce, and shared problems (like public health threats and environmental degradation), and it is one in which the lives of Americans are routinely linked ever more pervasively to those of people in foreign lands. Indeed, at a moment when anyone may engage in direct transactions internationally for services previously bought and sold only locally (lodging, for instance, through online sites), it has become clear that, even in ordinary matters, judicial awareness can no longer stop at the water's edge. To trace how foreign considerations have come to inform the thinking of the Court, Justice Breyer begins with that area of the law in which they have always figured prominently: national security in its constitutional dimension--how should the Court balance this imperative with others, chiefly the protection of basic liberties, in its review of presidential and congressional actions? He goes on to show that as the world has grown steadily "smaller," the Court's horizons have inevitably expanded: it has been obliged to consider a great many more matters that now cross borders. What is the geographical reach of an American statute concerning, say, securities fraud, antitrust violations, or copyright protections? And in deciding such matters, can the Court interpret American laws so that they might work more efficiently with similar laws in other nations? While Americans must necessarily determine their own laws through democratic process, increasingly, the smooth operation of American law--and, by extension, the advancement of American interests and values--depends on its working in harmony with that of other jurisdictions. Justice Breyer describes how the aim of cultivating such harmony, as well as the expansion of the rule of law overall, with its attendant benefits, has drawn American jurists into the relatively new role of "constitutional diplomats," a little remarked but increasingly important job for them in this fast-changing world."--Publisher's description.
Posted in Law

Active Liberty

Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution

Author: Stephen Breyer

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780307424617

Category: Political Science

Page: 176

View: 9722

A brilliant new approach to the Constitution and courts of the United States by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.For Justice Breyer, the Constitution’s primary role is to preserve and encourage what he calls “active liberty”: citizen participation in shaping government and its laws. As this book argues, promoting active liberty requires judicial modesty and deference to Congress; it also means recognizing the changing needs and demands of the populace. Indeed, the Constitution’s lasting brilliance is that its principles may be adapted to cope with unanticipated situations, and Breyer makes a powerful case against treating it as a static guide intended for a world that is dead and gone. Using contemporary examples from federalism to privacy to affirmative action, this is a vital contribution to the ongoing debate over the role and power of our courts. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Posted in Political Science

Human Dignity

The Constitutional Value and the Constitutional Right

Author: Aharon Barak

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316240983

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 9666

Human dignity is now a central feature of many modern constitutions and international documents. As a constitutional value, human dignity involves a person's free will, autonomy, and ability to write a life story within the framework of society. As a constitutional right, it gives full expression to the value of human dignity, subject to the specific demands of constitutional architecture. This analytical study of human dignity as both a constitutional value and a constitutional right adopts a legal-interpretive perspective. It explores the sources of human dignity as a legal concept, its role in constitutional documents, its content, and its scope. The analysis is augmented by examples from comparative legal experience, including chapters devoted to the role of human dignity in American, Canadian, German, South African, and Israeli constitutional law.
Posted in Political Science

Judges beyond Politics in Democracy and Dictatorship

Lessons from Chile

Author: Lisa Hilbink

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 113946681X

Category: Law

Page: N.A

View: 6775

Why did formerly independent Chilean judges, trained under and appointed by democratic governments, facilitate and condone the illiberal, antidemocratic, and anti-legal policies of the Pinochet regime? Challenging the assumption that adjudication in non-democratic settings is fundamentally different and less puzzling than it is in democratic regimes, this 2007 book offers a longitudinal analysis of judicial behavior, demonstrating striking continuity in judicial performance across regimes in Chile. The work explores the relevance of judges' personal policy preferences, social class, and legal philosophy, but argues that institutional factors best explain the persistent failure of judges to take stands in defense of rights and rule of law principles. Specifically, the institutional structure and ideology of the Chilean judiciary, grounded in the ideal of judicial apoliticism, furnished judges with professional understandings and incentives that left them unequipped and disinclined to take stands in defense of liberal democratic principles, before, during, and after the authoritarian interlude.
Posted in Law

Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy

Author: Richard A. Posner

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674042292

Category: Law

Page: 416

View: 6291

Richard Posner argues for a conception of the liberal state based on pragmatic theories of government. He views the actions of elected officials as guided by interests rather than by reason and the decisions of judges by discretion rather than by rules. He emphasizes the institutional and material, rather than moral and deliberative, factors in democratic decision making. Posner argues that democracy is best viewed as a competition for power by means of regular elections. Citizens should not be expected to play a significant role in making complex public policy regarding, say, taxes or missile defense.
Posted in Law

A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law

Federal Courts and the Law

Author: Antonin Scalia

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400882958

Category: Law

Page: 200

View: 2226

We are all familiar with the image of the immensely clever judge who discerns the best rule of common law for the case at hand. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a judge like this can maneuver through earlier cases to achieve the desired aim—"distinguishing one prior case on his left, straight-arming another one on his right, high-stepping away from another precedent about to tackle him from the rear, until (bravo!) he reaches the goal—good law." But is this common-law mindset, which is appropriate in its place, suitable also in statutory and constitutional interpretation? In a witty and trenchant essay, Justice Scalia answers this question with a resounding negative. In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution's original meaning. Although not subscribing to the “strict constructionism” that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly “smuggle” in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals. This essay is followed by four commentaries by Professors Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia’s ideas about judicial interpretation from varying standpoints. In the spirit of debate, Justice Scalia responds to these critics. Featuring a new foreword that discusses Scalia’s impact, jurisprudence, and legacy, this witty and trenchant exchange illuminates the brilliance of one of the most influential legal minds of our time.
Posted in Law

Cardozo

A Study in Reputation

Author: Richard A. Posner

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226675565

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 156

View: 5485

What makes a great judge? How are reputations forged? Why do some reputations endure, while others crumble? And how can we know whether a reputation is fairly deserved? In this ambitious book, Richard Posner confronts these questions in the case of Benjamin Cardozo. The result is both a revealing portrait of one of the most influential legal minds of our century and a model for a new kind of study—a balanced, objective, critical assessment of a judicial career. "The present compact and unflaggingly interesting volume . . . is a full-bodied scholarly biography. . . .It is illuminating in itself, and will serve as a significant contribution."—Paul A. Freund, New York Times Book Review
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Reason and Imagination

The Selected Correspondence of Learned Hand

Author: Constance Jordan

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019989910X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 435

View: 9245

Reason and Imagination: The Selected Correspondence of Learned Hand provides readers with an intimate look into the life and mind of Judge Learned Hand, an icon in American Law. This new book brings to light previously unpublished letters and gives readers insight into Hand's thoughts on American jurisprudence and policy. This new collection includes a preface by Ronald Dworkin.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Justice, Judocracy and Democracy in India

Boundaries and Breaches

Author: Sudhanshu Ranjan

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317809777

Category: Law

Page: 406

View: 5526

This book offers an innovative approach to studying ‘judicial activism’ in the Indian context in tracing its history and relevance since 1773. While discussing the varying roles of the judiciary, it delineates the boundaries of different organs of the State — judiciary, executive and legislature — and highlights the points where these boundaries have been breached, especially through judicial interventions in parliamentary affairs and their role in governance and policy. Including a fascinating range of sources such as legal cases, books, newspapers, periodicals, lectures, historical texts and records, the author presents the complex sides of the arguments persuasively, and contributes to new ways of understanding the functioning of the judiciary in India. This paperback edition, with a new Afterword, updates the debates around the raging questions facing the Indian judiciary. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of law, political science and history, as well as legal practitioners and the general reader.
Posted in Law

Democracy Falls

Author: Bryan Steele

Publisher: Mongoose Pub

ISBN: 9781906508838

Category: Games

Page: 103

View: 4269

Democracy Falls - a hub of opportunity for those in the Cursed Earth with the skills, gear and guts to try and survive within its gang-patrolled wall. Located a few hundred miles west of Mega City One on the ruins of one of America's ancient heartland capitals, 'D-Falls' is a dream for Cursed Earthers... and a nightmare to the Justice Department. It has always loomed in the distance, standing as a reminder that the Mega Cities are not the only civilisations to thrive in this day and age. The Justice Department has always turned a blind eye to the existence of Democracy Falls, choosing to use its resources more efficiently than laying siege to it. The appearance of a new criminal game in the lower blocks has changed the status quo, forcing the Chief Judges to take action. This new game, called Bloodrace, is well-known to have started in Democracy Falls - and it just claimed its first Judge's life. Now the Justice Department needs a small team of Judges willing to leave the safety of Mega City One to bring justice to the Bloodrace organisers - those who brought the game to MC-1's streets. Everyone is allowed to enter Democracy Falls, even Judges... the only problem is getting back out again. Democracy Falls is a scenario for the Judge Dredd: Traveller game setting, placing several Judges in a dangerous and foreign city in the Cursed Earth, where fast cars and faster bullets are normally the Law of the land.
Posted in Games

Proportionality

Constitutional Rights and their Limitations

Author: Aharon Barak

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781107401198

Category: Law

Page: 638

View: 2983

Having identified proportionality as the main tool for limiting constitutional rights, Aharon Barak explores its four components (proper purpose, rational connection, necessity and proportionality stricto sensu) and discusses the relationships between proportionality and reasonableness and between courts and legislation. He goes on to analyse the concept of deference and to consider the main arguments against the use of proportionality (incommensurability and irrationality). Alternatives to proportionality are compared and future developments of proportionality are suggested.
Posted in Law