The role of the judicial officer explored

Flinders  socio-legal scholars, Professor Sharyn Roach Anleu and Emerita Professor Kathy Mack, have published a new book on Performing Judicial Authority in the Lower Courts.

The book explores the role of the judicial officer as the crucial link between formal abstract law, the legal institution of the court and the practical tasks of the courtroom.

Judicial authority is constituted by everyday practices of individual judicial officers, balancing the obligations of formal law and procedure with the distinctive interactional demands of lower courts.

Performing Judicial Authority in the Lower Courts draws on extensive original, independent empirical data to identify different ways judicial officers approach and experience their work. It theorises the meanings of these variations for the legitimate performance of judicial authority.

The central finding of the book is that there is an incomplete fit between conventional norms of judicial performance, emphasising detachment and impersonality, and the practical, day-to-day judicial work in high volume, time-pressured lower courts.

Understanding the role of the judicial officer more fully provides a more complete theory of judicial legitimacy which includes the manner in which judicial officers present themselves and communicate their decisions in court.

Professors Roach Anleu and Mack are internationally renowned for their interdisciplinary research and their new book will have interest for both academic and general audiences.

The book can be ordered from Springer International Publishing.

Professor Roach Anleu will soon be speaking about her current research with Emerita Professor Mack at the International Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association Conference in Tanzania, of which Flinders University is a sponsor.

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