Good Judgment: Making Judicial Decisions
Published: August 2018© 2018
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 352 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
352 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.78 in
Good Judgment, based upon the author's experience as a lawyer, law professor, and judge, explores the role of the judge and the art of judging. Engaging with the American, English, and Commonwealth literature on the role of the judge in the common law tradition, Good Judgment addresses the following questions: What exactly do judges do? What is properly within their role and what falls outside? How do judges approach their decision-making task?
In an attempt to explain and reconcile two fundamental features of judging, namely judicial choice and judicial discipline, this book explores the nature and extent of judicial choice in the common law legal tradition and the structural features of that tradition that control and constrain that element of choice. As Sharpe explains, the law does not always provide clear answers, and judges are often left with difficult choices to make, but the power of judicial choice is disciplined and constrained and judges are not free to decide cases according to their own personal sense of justice.
Although Good Judgment is accessibly written to appeal to the non-specialist reader with an interest in the judicial process, it also tackles fundamental issues about the nature of law and the role of the judge and will be of particular interest to lawyers, judges, law students, and legal academics.
2. A Judge’s Work
3. Is the Law Uncertain?
4. Do Judges Make Law?
5. Rules, Principles and Policies
6. Disciplined Judicial Decision-Making
7. Working with Precedent
8. Authority: What Counts?
9. Judicial Decision Making: A Case Study
10. Standard of Review and Discretion
11. Role of the Judge in a Constitutional Democracy
12. A Judicial State of Mind
"Good Judgment: Making Judicial Decisions, by the Canadian jurist and legal academic Robert J. Sharpe, represents a refreshing and deeply thoughtful departure from binary arguments about how and why judges make decisions."U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel, Law 360, August 31, 2018
"Good Judgment provides one of the few ‘insiders’ accounts’ about how judges actually make decisions. It is the first book of its kind in Canada and its audience and its influence will reach far beyond the borders of this country. Good Judgment is superb and will make an immediate, significant and long-lasting contribution to the field, and I am quite convinced that it will quickly take its place among the classics of judicial decision making: Cardozo, Barak, Posner and Sachs."Adam Dodek, Dean of Law, University of Ottawa
"In Good Judgement, Sharpe shares his own journey in the legal profession, from student to practitioner, and from professor to judge. When writing about the judge’s approach to decision-making, he shares his own first person perspective on how he viewed difficult cases, and of his own personal process. In this personal sense, the book differs significantly from other works in Canada, which are either based on interviews with judges or sociological analysis."Lorne Sossin, Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
- Walter Owen Book Prize awarded by The Canadian Foundation for Legal Research