The Perceptive Judge
Forthcoming in: Jurisprudence. An International Journal of Legal and Political Thought
General Subserie Research Paper No. 2016-03
35 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2016 Last revised: 25 Apr 2018
Date Written: August 15, 2016
Up until today the way judges perceive has received little attention in legal discourse. Adjudication is most often conceptualized as a practice in which judges apply rules and principles. The focus has predominantly been on the actual decisions judges take, the underlying justificatory rules and principles and the meaning of the decision for the legal system.
This paper by contrast puts judicial perception at the centre of adjudication. It offers a philosophical account of judicial perception that understands it as a special ethical, character dependent - skill that a judge needs in order to adequately cope with the case he is confronted with. In this account ‘thick (legal) concepts’ play a vital role. Throughout the text Ian McEwan’s novel The Children Act is used as illustrative source.
Keywords: Judicial Perception, Virtue Jurisprudence, Skill Model of Judicial Virtue, Thick (Legal) Concepts, McEwans' the Children Act, Law and Literature
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation