Legal Doctrine on Collegial Courts

45 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2007

See all articles by Dimitri Landa

Dimitri Landa

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Jeffrey R. Lax

Columbia University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: March 18, 2007

Abstract

Appellate courts, which have the most control over legal doctrine, tend to operate through collegial (multi-member) decision-making. How does this collegiality affect their choice of legal doctrine? Can decisions by appellate courts be expected to result in a meaningful collegial rule? How do such collegial rules differ from the rules of individual judges? We explore these questions and show that collegiality has important implications for the structure and content of legal rules, as well as for the coherence, determinacy, and complexity of legal doctrine. We provide conditions for the occurrence of these doctrinal attributes in the output of collegial courts. Finally, we consider the connection between the problems that arise in the collegial aggregation of a set of legal rules and those previously noted in the collegial application of a single, fixed legal rule.

Keywords: law, courts, doctrine, median voter, legal rules, judges, judging

Suggested Citation

Landa, Dimitri and Lax, Jeffrey R., Legal Doctrine on Collegial Courts (March 18, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=975098 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.975098

Dimitri Landa

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States

Jeffrey R. Lax (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

MC3320
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
95
Abstract Views
917
rank
345,062
PlumX Metrics