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Good Judgment, based upon the author's experience as a lawyer, law professor, and judge, explores the role of the judge and the art of judging. Engaging with the American, English, and Commonwealth literature on the role of the judge in the common law tradition, Good Judgment addresses the following questions: What exactly do judges do? What is properly within their role and what falls outside? How do judges approach their decision-making task?
In an attempt to explain and reconcile two fundamental features of judging, namely judicial choice and judicial discipline, this book explores the nature and extent of judicial choice in the common law legal tradition and the structural features of that tradition that control and constrain that element of choice. As Sharpe explains, the law does not always provide clear answers, and judges are often left with difficult choices to make, but the power of judicial choice is disciplined and constrained and judges are not free to decide cases according to their own personal sense of justice.
Although Good Judgment is accessibly written to appeal to the non-specialist reader with an interest in the judicial process, it also tackles fundamental issues about the nature of law and the role of the judge and will be of particular interest to lawyers, judges, law students, and legal academics.