- The Art, Craft, and Science of Policing
- Crime and Criminals
- Criminal Process and Prosecution
- The Crime-preventive Impact of Penal Sanctions
- Contracts and Corporations
- Financial Markets
- Consumer Protection
- Bankruptcy and Insolvency
- Regulating the Professions
- Personal Injury Litigation
- Claiming Behavior as Legal Mobilization
- Labor and Employment Laws
- Housing and Property
- Human Rights Instruments
- Social Security and Social Welfare
- Occupational Safety and Health
- Environmental Regulation
- Administrative Justice
- Access to Civil Justice
- Judicial Recruitment, Training and Careers
- Trial Courts and Adjudication
- Appellate Courts
- Dispute Resolution
- Lay Decision-Makers in the Legal Process
- Evidence Law
- Civil Procedure and Courts
- Collective Actions
- Law and Courts'Impact on Development and Democratization
- How Does Inter National Law Work?
- <b>Lawyers and Other Legal Service Providers</b>
- Legal Pluralism
- Public Images and Understandings of Courts
- Legal Education and the Legal Academy
Abstract and Keywords
This article discusses academic work in relation to appellate courts. It concentrates on characterizing and explaining judicial decision-making and winning on an appeal. Furthermore, it raises questions about the nature and coverage of empirical legal research on appellate courts, and discusses general methodological questions. It also looks at rival approaches to describing what judges do in making decisions, and what motivational assumptions are most commonly made and finally indicates the broad outlines of how the field should develop methodologically in the future. Empirical legal research suffers from the main weakness of the entire body of empirical research applied to appellate courts. This article concludes by mentioning that a shift of focus is needed to other aspects of law. To be forced into a choice, a judge must feel that what he regards as morally correct would be inconsistent with existing law.
David Robertson is Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford.
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