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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.

Independence as a Governance Mechanism
Independence as a governance mechanism
Edward L.Rubin

Judicial independence is often regarded as one of the glories of the Anglo-American tradition. Older than democracy, it served as the bulwark within which were nurtured such rights as due process, habeas corpus, and freedom from self-incrimination. It remains today essential to our federal judiciary, as a source of the high regard in which our courts are held, and as a justification for the extensive role that they have been able to assume. For all these reasons, and others, we tend to treat judicial independence as a unitary concept, a linguistically embedded word pair with a single meaning.

On consideration, this would appear to be an unwise analytic strategy. It assumes an organic connection between the ...

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