The Objectivity of Judicial Decision-Making and Interpretation Essay

The Objectivity of Judicial Decision-Making and Interpretation Essay

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The expectation from our judges that they will always act objectively in making their decisions is correct but only to a certain extent. By using the theories of interpretation and judicial decision-making of both Dworkin and American Legal Realism, it is evident that a balancing act occurs between objective judgments and interpretation and subjective judgments and interpretation. Often, subjective judgments are the most dominant to a large extent. One must look at the ideas of Dworkin in terms of considering that judgments have aspects of both objectivity and subjectivity. One must also look at the ideas of American Legal Realism where subjectivity plays a gigantic role in judgments leaving objectivity with little or no influence whatsoever.

Dworkin believes in the idea that judges interpret cases and make their decisions as objectively as they can and as objectively as the law allows them. However, he also believes that there are gaps in the law which cause judges to be obliged to insert their own judicial discretion which thus gives us the proof of the existence of subjectivity in judicial interpretation and decisions. This idea is evident in the Riggs v Palmer case whereby a murderer was entitled to benefits of a will even though he was the person who killed the victim in order to benefit from such a will. This showed that the murderer was, in deed, acting in line with the law because in the particular circumstances, he was entitled to the benefits of the will but this was seen as problematic. This clearly showed that there was a gap in the law which reiterates what Dworkin has said because even though the murderer is acting within the lines of the law, by the court allowing him to benefit from the will, it would create ...


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...ivities such as judicial decision-making and interpretation, it is not non-e



Works Cited

Denise Meyerson ‘Law as Interpretive’ in L. Elaine (ed) Jurisprudence (2013) 135 at 151.
Brian Leiter ‘American Legal Realism’ in Martin P. Golding (eds) The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory (2008) 50 at 53.
Meyerson op cit note 1 at 149.
Ibid 151.
Ibid 153.
Ibid 151.
Ibid.
Riggs v Palmer 115 NY 506 (1889) at 514.
Meyerson op cit note 1 at 151.
Ibid 184.
Ibid.
Ibid 151.
Leiter op cit note 2 at 51.
Ibid 53.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid 50.
Ibid.
Ibid 53.
Meyerson op cit note 1 at 149.
Ibid.
Ibid 188.
Ibid 151.
Ibid 185.
Leiter op cit note 2 at 50.
Meyerson op cit note 1 at 188.
Leiter op cit note 2 at 50.
Ibid.
Meyerson op cit note 1 at 149.
Ibid 145.
Ibid 191.
Ibid
Ibid 150.
Ibid 145.
Ibid184.

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