Guarding the Guardians: Judicial Councils and Judicial Independence

43 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2008 Last revised: 6 May 2009

Nuno M. Garoupa

Texas A&M University School of Law; Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) - Católica Global School of Law

Tom Ginsburg

University of Chicago Law School

Date Written: November 18, 2008

Abstract

This Article uses comparative evidence to inform the ongoing debate about the selection and discipline of judges. In recent decades, many countries around the world have created judicial councils, institutions designed to maintain an appropriate balance between judicial independence and accountability. Our Article has two aims. First, we provide a theory of the formation of judicial councils and identify some of the dimensions along which they differ. Second, we test the extent to which different designs of judicial council affect judicial quality. We find that there is little relationship between councils and quality. We also offer a positive explanation for why judicial councils nevertheless remain attractive institutions.

Keywords: judicial independence, rule of law

Suggested Citation

Garoupa, Nuno M. and Ginsburg, Tom, Guarding the Guardians: Judicial Councils and Judicial Independence (November 18, 2008). American Journal of Comparative Law, Forthcoming; U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 444; U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 250; Center on Law and Globalization Research Paper No. 09-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1303847

Nuno M. Garoupa

Texas A&M University School of Law ( email )

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States

Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) - Católica Global School of Law ( email )

Lisboa
Portugal

Tom Ginsburg (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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