Courts and Governance in Asia: Exploring Variations and Effects

Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 42, Part 1, pp. 95-119

26 Pages Posted: 7 May 2012 Last revised: 22 Feb 2017

Bjoern Dressel

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

Courts and judges have become highly visible in the Asian political landscape as part of a global trend towards the judicialization of politics. Yet while there is increased understanding of what is driving this trend, current models do little to explain what courts and judges actually do; nor is there agreement on how judicial behavior might affect governance. Here I present a typology of judicial politics to support the argument that judicial behavior over time is an outcome of the interplay between institutional, ideational, and agency-specific variables. That is why the effects of judicial decisions on democratic governance are difficult to evaluate. However, the tentative evidence presented here suggests that the relationship is positive primarily in countries where courts have worked to actively facilitate dialogue between different branches of government. This article thus seeks to advance the debate on variances in judicialization and their effects both empirically and theoretically.

Keywords: courts, governance, asia, judicialization

Suggested Citation

Dressel, Bjoern, Courts and Governance in Asia: Exploring Variations and Effects (June 1, 2012). Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 42, Part 1, pp. 95-119. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2052602

Bjoern Dressel (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

7 Liversidge Street
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, ACT 0200
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://crawford.anu.edu.au/crawford_people/content/staff/bdressel.php

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