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NCJ Number: 50097 Find in a Library
Title: POLITICAL ROLE (FROM POLITICS OF THE JUDICIARY, 1978, BY J A G GRIFFITH - SEE NCJ-50093)
Author(s): J A G GRIFFITH
Corporate Author: Marcel Dekker, Inc
Managing Editor
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: Marcel Dekker, Inc
New York, NY 10016
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE TRADITIONAL VIEW OF JUDGES AS IMPARTIAL ARBITERS IN CONFLICTS IS QUESTIONED, AND IT IS SUGGESTED THAT JUDGES ARE INFLUENCED BY THEIR VIEW OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN MAKING CONTROVERSIAL DECISIONS.
Abstract: IN THE TRADITIONAL VIEW, THE FUNCTION OF THE JUDICIARY IN ENGLAND IS TO DECIDE DISPUTES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW AND WITH IMPARTIALITY. THIS VIEW RESTS ON AN ASSUMPTION OF JUDICIAL NEUTRALITY. JUDGES ARE REQUIRED TO ACT AS ARBITERS NOT ONLY IN INDIVIDUAL CONFLICTS, BUT ALSO IN CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND INDIVIDUALS. THEREFORE, THE GOVERNMENT AND ITS AGENCIES ARE JUDGED BY A JUDICIARY THAT IS PART OF ITSELF. THE POSITION IS TAKEN THAT SINCE JUDGES ARE PART OF THE MACHINERY OF THE AUTHORITY WITHIN THE STATE, THEY CANNOT AVOID MAKING POLITICAL DECISIONS. THUS, THE BASE ON WHICH THE DECISIONS ARE MADE IS THE IMPORTANT FACTOR. AN EXAMPLE OF A CASE INVOLVING A 1972 INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE IS PRESENTED TO EXAMINE THE BASIS ON WHICH THE JUDICIARY DISTINGUISHED BETWEEN CONSENSUS AND NONCONSENSUS LAW AND TO ILLUSTRATE THE NON-NEUTRALITY OF THE JUDICIARY IN THE CASE. IN CASES WHERE THE GOVERNMENT IS IN CONFLICT WITH AN INDIVIDUAL AND THE LAW HAS NOT PROVIDED CLEAR GUIDELINES, JUDGES' DECISIONS TEND TO SHOW A SLANT IN FAVOR OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST. HOWEVER, DEFINING THE PUBLIC INTEREST IS USUALLY A DIFFICULT AND POLITICALLY-COLORED QUESTION. THE JUDGES, BY VIRTUE OF THEIR TRAINING, EDUCATION AND PURSUIT OF THEIR PROFESSION, USUALLY HAVE ACQUIRED A HOMOGENEOUS COLLECTION OF ATTITUDES AND PRINCIPLES WHICH ARE LIKELY TO AFFECT THEIR CONCEPTION OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST, AND VIEW IT IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE INTEREST OF THEIR OWN CLASS IN SOCIETY. THUS, IT IS ARGUED THAT THE JUDICIAL CONCEPTION OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST CONCERNS THE INTERESTS OF THE STATE AND PRESERVATION OF LAW AND ORDER, THE PROTECTION OF PROPERTY RIGHTS, AND THE PROMOTION OF CERTAIN POLITICAL VIEWS NORMALLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT IT IS NOT A CONSCIOUS AND DELIBERATE INTENTION BY JUDGES TO PURSUE THEIR OWN INTEREST BUT RATHER, THEIR POSITION IS BASED ON WHAT THEY REGARD AS THE INTEREST OF THE SOCIETY AS A WHOLE. (DAG)
Index Term(s): Decisionmaking; Discretionary decisions; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Judicial discretion
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50097

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