Thursday, June 14, 2012
Hi, Blog Readers.
I apologize for my absence, but I was in Asia for six weeks, and four of them were in places where Typepad.com is a blocked site.
For my return, I thought I'd highlight this abstract of a piece in the Hong Kong Law Journal by Bjoern Dressel posted to SSRN about Courts and Governance in Asia. Having visted a high court in Beijing which was a beautiful architectural local, but an eerily empty place, I look forward to finding out "what courts and judges actually do."
Courts and judges have become highly visible in the Asian political landscape as part of a global trend towards the judicialization of politics. Yet while there is increased understanding of what is driving this trend, current models do little to explain what courts and judges actually do; nor is there agreement on how judicial behavior might affect governance. Here I present a typology of judicial politics to support the argument that judicial behavior over time is an outcome of the interplay between institutional, ideational, and agency-specific variables. That is why the effects of judicial decisions on democratic governance are difficult to evaluate. However, the tentative evidence presented here suggests that the relationship is positive primarily in countries where courts have worked to actively facilitate dialogue between different branches of government. This article thus seeks to advance the debate on variances in judicialization and their effects both empirically and theoretically.