The Ideal Justice: Who Are Selected to Serve and What Does It Say About Swedish High Courts?
Johan Lindholm, Mattias Derlén and Daniel Naurin, "The Ideal Justice: Who Are Selected to Serve and What Does It Say About Swedish High Courts?", Tidsskrift for rettsvitenskap 2022, nr 4 (accepted forthcoming)
31 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2021 Last revised: 21 Jun 2022
Date Written: November 1, 2021
The Swedish Supreme Court (‘Högsta domstolen’) has remained in uninterrupted existence since it was established in 1789. In 1909 it was joined by the Supreme Administrative Court (‘Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen’). The function and role of the high courts in Swedish society have indisputable varied over time, but the nature and extent of those shifts are underexplored. The paper seeks to describe the high court’s role over time by studying the professional background of appointed Justices. We argue that the background of those who are selected to serve reflect the prevailing understanding of the proper functioning of the high courts. To achieve this, we cluster all 453 Swedish Justices (1789–2021) based on professional background into six types and study their presence on the high courts over time, as well as measure professional diversity over time. We identify both constants and trends that reveal how the high courts have changed over time.
Keywords: judicial appointments, professional background, sequence analysis, judicial diversity, Swedish Supreme Court, Swedish Supreme Administrative Court
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