• Law

The Judge in a Democracy


Author: Aharon Barak
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400827043
Category: Law
Page: 368
View: 6432
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.

    • Law

The Judge in a Democracy


Author: Aharon Barak
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691120171
Category: Law
Page: 332
View: 5536
'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.

    • Law

The Judge in a Democracy


Author: Aharon Barak
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691136158
Category: Law
Page: 368
View: 4894
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.

    • Law

Judges in Contemporary Democracy

An International Conversation
Author: Justice Stephen Breyer,Robert Badinter
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814789714
Category: Law
Page: 317
View: 1374
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.

    • Law

Purposive Interpretation in Law


Author: Aharon Barak
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400841267
Category: Law
Page: 448
View: 4992
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.

    • Law

Making Our Democracy Work

A Judge's View
Author: Stephen G. Breyer
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307390837
Category: Law
Page: 270
View: 6448
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.

    • Law

Understanding the Rule of Law


Author: Geert Corstens
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 150990364X
Category: Law
Page: 152
View: 5740
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.

    • Law

The Court and the World

American Law and the New Global Realities
Author: Stephen Breyer
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101912073
Category: Law
Page: 400
View: 6899
"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.

    • Political Science

The Judge as Political Theorist

Contemporary Constitutional Review
Author: David Robertson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400836871
Category: Political Science
Page: 432
View: 6537
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.

    • Law

America's Supreme Court

Making Democracy Work
Author: Stephen Breyer
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199606730
Category: Law
Page: 264
View: 8396
"Published in the US under the title Making our democracy work"--T.p. verso.

    • Political Science

Active Liberty

Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution
Author: Stephen Breyer
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307424617
Category: Political Science
Page: 176
View: 6352
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.

    • 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: 7072
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.

    • Law

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: 9573
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.

    • Law

Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy


Author: Richard A. Posner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674042292
Category: Law
Page: 416
View: 1060
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.

    • LAW

Judges as Guardians of Constitutionalism and Human Rights


Author: Martin Scheinin,Helle Krunke,Marina Aksenova
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 178536586X
Category: LAW
Page: 400
View: 7315
There are many challenges that national and supranational judges have to face when fulfilling their roles as guardians of constitutionalism and human rights. This book brings together academics and judges from different jurisdictions in an endeavour to uncover the intricacies of the judicial function. The contributors discuss several points that each represent contemporary challenges to judging: analysis of judicial balancing of conflicting considerations; the nature of courts’ legitimacy and its alleged dependence on public support; the role of judges in upholding constitutional values in the times of transition to democracy, surveillance and the fight against terrorism; and the role of international judges in guaranteeing globally recognized fundamental rights and freedoms. This book will be of interest to human rights scholars focusing on the issues of judicial oversight, as well as constitutional law scholars interested in comparative perspectives on the role of judges in different contexts. It will also be useful to national constitutional court judges, and law clerks aiming to familiarise themselves with judicial practices within other jurisdictions.

    • 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: 3400
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.

    • Biography & Autobiography

Cardozo

A Study in Reputation
Author: Richard A. Posner
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226675565
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 156
View: 9612
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

    • Law

Justice, Judocracy and Democracy in India

Boundaries and Breaches
Author: Sudhanshu Ranjan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317809777
Category: Law
Page: 406
View: 9567
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.

    • Law

Supreme Myths

Why the Supreme Court is Not a Court and Its Justices are Not Judges
Author: Eric J. Segall
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313396876
Category: Law
Page: 219
View: 3603
This book explores some of the most glaring misunderstandings about the U.S. Supreme Court—and makes a strong case for why our Supreme Court Justices should not be entrusted with decisions that affect every American citizen.

    • History

A History of the Supreme Court


Author: Bernard Schwartz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195093872
Category: History
Page: 465
View: 6717
A comprehensive history of the United States Supreme Court from its ill-esteemed beginning in 1790 to one of the most important and controversial branches of the Federal government.