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The Responsible Judge: Readings in Judicial Ethics

The Responsible Judge: Readings in Judicial Ethics


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Society and individual members thereof who approach the court in conscience desire justice. They place their hope not only in the knowledge but also in the morality of the judges. At a time when the values of the judiciary are under intense scrutiny, Noonan and Winston present an extensive, highly informed collection of readings with commentary and explication. They address the concept and role of judge, the act of judging, and the requirements and potential abuses inherent in the system and process of sitting in judgment. This is a reflective, yet eminently realistic consideration of the fundamental issues and questions involved in establishing a reasonable framework for assessing judicial morality.

The work first examines qualities of the ideal, corrupt, and over-zealous or political judge. The editors next address the judge's role and response in view of the tensions rising not only from the facts of the case and legal precedents but also from such human qualities as compassion. They also look at the power of social expectations and personal beliefs as possible influences on judicial decisions. Finally, the editors consider the need judges have for independence and study that necessary factor in relationships to accountability and also potential for abuse. This is a learned, inclusive, yet accessible and captivating, work. It will clarify and reinvigorate discussion of critically important issues fundamental to an ethical judiciary.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275940225
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/30/1993
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

JOHN T. NOONAN, JR. is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and is Robbins Professor of Law and Legal Ethics, emeritus, at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of several books on moral themes, including Persons and Masks of the Law and Bribes.

KENNETH I. WINSTON is Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College in Massachussetts. He has conducted seminars for judges on judicial ethics and the philosophy of law in a program sponsored by the American Academy of Judicial Education and is the editor of Principles of Social Order: Selected Essays of Lon L. Fuller.

Table of Contents


The Ideal Judge and The Partial Judge

The Impartiality of God

The Mask of Impartiality


Political Judges


Waiting for the Litigants

Deciding on the Record

Independent and Accountable

Proclaiming Independence

The Duty of Recusal

Forms of Accountability

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