Judges and Academics: Features of a Partnership
FROM HOUSE OF LORDS TO SUPREME COURT. JUDGES, JURISTS AND THE PROCESS OF JUDGING, pp. 227-253, J. Lee, ed., Hart Publishing, 2010
Posted: 14 Mar 2011
In his 1997 FA Mann Lecture, ‘The Academic and the Practitioner’, the late Professor Birks spoke of the ‘rise of juristic literature to a law-making partnership with the judgments of the courts’. But what is the nature of this partnership and what are its characteristics? Do English judges and academics conceive of law-making as a joint enterprise? Can their relationship be described as a partnership between equals, or is one of them stronger or even dominant? Do they co-operate, or rather compete? And how does their relationship differ from the relationship judges and academics have in other legal systems, such as, for instance, France, Germany or Italy? This chapter addresses these questions by examining the nature of the partnership between the two branches of the legal profession from a comparative perspective. It primarily focuses on England and touches only brieﬂy upon foreign experiences, in an attempt to highlight the main characteristics of the partnership between academics and judges in this country, and to identify possible trends. In doing so, it does not concentrate on any particular area of the law, but instead outlines how these two legal actors behave towards one another more generally.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation