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The Determinants of Judicial Prestige and Influence: Some Empirical Evidence from the High Court of Australia

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journal contribution
posted on 07.06.2017, 03:56 by Bhattacharya, Mita, Smyth, Russell
This paper uses judicial citation practice to investigate the determinants of judicial mfluence in the High Court of Australia (High Court). First, we construct measures of influence based on the number of times a judge is cited by name in a sample of High Court decisions. The raw citation counts are adjusted to exclude self-citations, depreciation of legal capital and variations in terms of period in office. Second, our measures of influence are regressed on a series of explanatory variables including age on appointment, appointing government, prior experience and whether the judge served as Chief Justice, for each of the 35 retired judges of the High Court. Our results suggest that younger appointees with prior judicial experience exert more influence per year on the Bench. Our results also suggest that conservative appointees exert more influence than Labor appointees and judges who have served as Chief Justice exert more influence than puisne judges. We offer some economic explanations for this phenomenon.


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Monash University. Faculty of Business and Economics. Department of Economics

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