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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Years of effort by many talented and creative scholars to gauge the influence of law on judicial decision-making have produced payoffs, but the payoffs do not seem commensurate with the work that has gone into producing them. After reviewing some of the most important approaches and findings, this chapter identifies key obstacles to progress and suggests a new strategy for making more headway against them. The strategy begins by recognizing that ultimately the questions driving empirical and theoretical inquiry into law’s influence are often less about law itself than about the propriety of judicial decision-making. The chapter concludes with suggestions for empirical questions to complement more familiar ones about the role of law in judges’ decisions.

Keywords: judicial decision-making, law, influence, evaluating judges, legal theory

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