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The influence of personal values on legal judgments

Cahill-O'callaghan, Rachel 2013. The influence of personal values on legal judgments. Journal of Law and Society 40 (4) , pp. 596-623. 10.1111/j.1467-6478.2013.00642.x

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Abstract

The non-legal factors that influence judicial decisions, in cases which divide judicial opinion, have been the subject of extensive debate. To date, theoretical and empirical work has focussed on several factors including political ideology, activism, attitudes and demographics. Personal values are related to each of these factors and are central to decision making. This study translated theories and techniques from psychological research to examine the role of personal values in judicial decision making. Using a novel method of assessment of value expression in legal opinions, this study revealed a different pattern of values expressed in the majority and minority opinions of a case that divided the Supreme Court. The relationship between personal values and legal decision making was extended with data from an empirical study of legal academics which highlights the significant influence of personal values on legal decision making. This study translates psychological theory to legal practice. The value: decision paradigm provides a new framework to analyse judicial decision making, judicial division and the exercise of judicial discretion. The study also has significant implications in the current debates surrounding judicial diversity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
ISSN: 0263-323X
Last Modified: 24 May 2018 11:32
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/40858

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