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Concerned that scholars in various disciplines were talking past each other and that policy debates concerning judicial independence were impoverished, the editors convened a conference of scholars from the disciplines of law, political science, history, economics and sociology. Judicial Independence at the Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Approach is a collection of essays reflecting the disciplinary perspectives of the authors and the shared understanding that emerged from the conference.

Reconsidering Judicial Independence
Reconsidering judicial independence
Stephen B.BurbankBarryFriedman

Judicial independence exists primarily as a rhetorical notion rather than as a subject of sustained, organized study. Many scholars assume that a judiciary with at least some independence is important to the protection of property rights and individual liberty, not to speak of the maintenance of the structure of democratic governance itself. But legal writing on the subject all too often seems part of a polemical debate between contending camps. Very little of this work even acknowledges the existence of state courts, let alone considers how the variety of arrangements governing state judiciaries might affect general theories of judicial independence. Meanwhile, the political science literature has not been immune to its own brand of extremism, much work failing to ...

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