Judicial Wisdom: An Introductory Empirical Account and Research Agenda

30 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2012  

Jeremy A. Blumenthal

Syracuse University - College of Law

Daria A. Bakina

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 15, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: wisdom, judges, phronesis, decision-making, jurisprudence, empirical research, psychology

Suggested Citation

Blumenthal, Jeremy A. and Bakina, Daria A., Judicial Wisdom: An Introductory Empirical Account and Research Agenda (August 15, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2129792 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2129792

Jeremy A. Blumenthal (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - College of Law ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244-1030
United States
315-443-2083 (Phone)
315-443-5394 (Fax)

Daria A. Bakina

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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