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Judicial ReputationA Comparative Theory$
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Nuno Garoupa and Tom Ginsburg

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226290591

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226290621.001.0001

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A Theory of Judicial Reputation and Audiences

A Theory of Judicial Reputation and Audiences

(p.14) One A Theory of Judicial Reputation and Audiences
Judicial Reputation

Nuno Garoupa

Tom Ginsburg

University of Chicago Press

This Chapter first defines reputation, treating it as the stock of judgments about an actor’s past behavior. To develop judicial reputation, judges must have the ability to communicate with certain audiences that react to decisions: the media, politicians, lawyers and law professors, and the public itself. Judicial reputation is also distinctive in that it is produced in teams: each judge must invest energy in reputation, but it is also a quality of the judiciary as a whole. We use the economics of team production to show how individual and collective reputations interact. There are risks associated with too much emphasis on either individual or collective reputation. We then examine how various features of judicial organization affect the production of reputation. These include the career structure of the judiciary; whether opinions are collective or individual; the level of publicity; systems of discipline; and judicial discretion over case selection and sentencing, among others. The chapter contrasts the American and Japanese judiciaries as an illustration.

Keywords:   reputation, team production, Japan, judiciary, judges

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