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How institutions structure judicial behaviour: An analysis of Alarie and Green’s Commitment and Cooperation on High Courts: A Cross-Country Examination of Institutional Constraints on Judges
University of Toronto Law Journal  (IF1.234),  Pub Date : 2019-03-01, DOI: 10.3138/utlj.2018-0060
Lee Epstein

Abstract:No theory of judicial behaviour ignores institutions, but, all too often, their role in structuring judges' choices goes assumed rather than directly evaluated. For this reason alone, we should applaud Benjamin Alarie and Andrew J. Green. Not only do they take institutions seriously; they attempt cross-national assessments of their effect on judging. This is their book's overarching contribution, but there are many others along the way – so many that Commitment and Cooperation on High Courts is bound to take its place among the classics in the ever-growing field of judicial behaviour. My aim is to bring Alarie and Green's contributions into relief by highlighting their key arguments and empirical results. Along the way, I integrate some of the existing literature if only to show where and how the authors advance our understanding of judging. All of this amounts to Parts I and II. But a simple summary of Commitment and Cooperation will not suffice because Alarie and Green invite the reader to think about extensions. In that spirit, Part III offers some suggestions for forward movement.