Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Fiona Elizabeth Jamieson (University of Edinburgh - School of Law) has posted Judicial Independence: The Master Narrative on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In this paper, I draw upon biographical narrative accounts of retired Scottish judges to provide insight about how the concept of judicial independence operates in the routine practice of criminal justice. This oblique and often reified concept is given new meanings and understandings through the lived experiences of these retired judicial actors, demonstrating the role of judicial independence and impartiality as the ‘master narrative’ of the judiciary in their routine work. This research points to some of the adaptive strategies necessary for the maintenance and use of the concept in the everyday challenges of sentencing practice. In particular, I argue that although judicial independence represents an aspirational and mythological conception of judicial work, it nonetheless carries important meanings and has material effects in everyday criminal justice practice. Moreover, the boundaries of the judicial role in daily practice may be less sharply defined than strong ‘Olympian’ interpretations of judicial independence might otherwise suggest.