Judicial Wisdom: An Introductory Empirical Account and Research Agenda
Jeremy A. Blumenthal
Syracuse University - College of Law
Daria A. Bakina
affiliation not provided to SSRN
August 15, 2012
We present the first empirical analysis of “judicial wisdom”: what it means to be a “wise judge.” We surveyed 40 federal judges; half listed characteristics of a “wise” judge and, to compare, half listed characteristics of an “excellent” judge. The factor models of judicial wisdom and of judicial excellence demonstrate the two concepts’ distinct nature. Judicial wisdom seems comprised of three traditional wisdom factors and one factor specific to the judicial role. We discuss the substantive models of judicial “wisdom” and “excellence,” and legal and policy implications, including the possibility of teaching judicial wisdom. We also raise directions for future research.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: wisdom, judges, phronesis, decision-making, jurisprudence, empirical research, psychology
Date posted: August 16, 2012
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