Questioning Judicial Deliberations
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Forthcoming
27 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2009
Date Written: September 20, 2009
Mitchel Lasser’s Judicial Deliberations compares the argumentative practices of the French Cour de cassation, the US Supreme Court, and the European Court of Justice, and examines how they achieve judicial legitimacy. In this review I firstly question the models of judicial legitimacy presented by Lasser. I believe that the French ‘institutional’ model relies far more on the interplay between the Cour de cassation and the legislature than on the system of selection of those who take part in the judicial discourse or on their conception of law which would deny judicial decision a place among the sources of law. I also have doubts about the lack of institutional means of judicial control and the emphasis on ‘argumentative transparency,’ which lies at the core of Lasser’s presentation of the US system. Finally the Court of Justice, somewhat included rather as an afterthought in the book’s central analysis, in my opinion faces rather different problems from those identified in the book. Secondly, I discuss a deeper problem of Judicial Deliberations: its lack of conceptual clarity and the rather scant evidence it provides for some of its bold claims. In conclusion I make the case for a ‘comparative jurisprudence’ approach, suggested some time ago by William Ewald, which in my view Judicial Deliberations follows only in name.
Keywords: comparative law; judicial reasoning, judicial legitimacy, judicial lawmaking, U.S. Supreme Court, Cour de cassation, European Court of Justice
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation