Collective Judging in Comparative Perspective

This book focuses on the decision-making processes in modern collegiate courts. Judges from some of the world's highest and most significant judicial bodies, both national and supranational, share their experiences and reflect on the challenges to which their joint judicial endeavour gives rise.
Birke Häcker
book | published | 1st edition
August 2020 | xxii + 344 pp.



ISBN 9781780686240



ISBN 9781839700804

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This book provides insight into modern collective judicial decision-making. Courts all over the world sit in panels of several judges, yet the processes by which these judges produce the courts’ decisions differ markedly. Judges from some of the world’s most notable judicial bodies, in both the civilian and the common law tradition and from supra-/international courts, share their experiences and reflect on the challenges to which their collective endeavour gives rise. They address matters such as the question of panel constitution, the operation of rapporteur systems, pre- and post-hearing conferences, the hearing procedure itself, the nature of the interaction between the judicial panel and parties’ advocates, the extent to which a unitary judgment of the court or at least a single majority judgment is required or deemed desirable, and how it is ultimately arrived at through different voting mechanisms. The judicial views are supplemented by a number of academic commentaries. Collective Judging in Comparative Perspective serves as an inspiration for future court design.


Sir Jack Beatson (formerly Court of Appeal of England and Wales)

Thomas von Danwitz (Court of Justice of the European Union)

Matthew Dyson (University of Oxford)

Harry T Edwards (United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit)

Wolfgang Ernst (University of Oxford)

Kevin Garnett QC (formerly Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office)

Msgr Markus Graulich (Pontifical Council for Legislative Text)

Beate Gsell (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich)

Birke Häcker (University of Oxford)

Dominique Hascher (Cour de cassation)

Sir Launcelot Henderson (Court of Appeal of England and Wales)

Richard Hyland (Rutgers Law School)

Susan Kiefel AC (High Court of Australia)

Georg Kodek (Austrian Supreme Court)

James Lee (King’s College London)

Sir Keith Lindblom (Court of Appeal of England and Wales)

Gertrude Lübbe-Wolff (formerly German Federal Constitutional Court)

Theodor Meron (International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals)

Angelika Nussberger (formerly European Court of Human Rights)

Akira Ojima (Chief Judicial Research Official, Supreme Court of Japan)

Naoki Onishi (Otsu District Court, Japan)

Christos Ravanides (Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations)

Lord Reed of Allermuir (Supreme Court of the United Kingdom)

Thomas Rüfner (University of Trier)

Johanna Schmidt-Räntsch (German Federal Court of Justice)

Thomas Stadelmann (Swiss Supreme Court)

Wolfgang Ernst is Regius Professor of Civil Law, University of Oxford, and Fellow of All Souls College.

Birke Häcker is the Professor of Comparative Law, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Brasenose College

Table of Contents

Table of contents and preliminary pages (p. 0)

Birke Häcker

Part I. Designing Collegiate Courts' Decision-Making Processes

Chapter 1. The Fine-Mechanics of Judicial Majoritarianism (p. 1)

Part II. Collegiate Courts in the Common Law Tradition

Chapter 2. Collective Judging in the UK Supreme Court (p. 19)

Chapter 3. Collective Judging in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales (p. 37)

Chapter 4. An Australian Perspective on Collective Judging (p. 47)

Chapter 5. Collegial Decision-Making in the US Courts of Appeals (p. 57)

Part III. Collegiate Courts in the European Civil Law Tradition

Chapter 6. Collective Judging in the French Court de Cassation (p. 127)

Chapter 7. Collective Judging in Germany (p. 141)

Chapter 8. Why is the German Federal Constitutional Court a Deliberative Court, and Why is That a Good Thing? A Comparative Assessment (p. 157)

Chapter 9. Collective Judging at the Swiss Supreme Court (p. 181)

Chapter 10. Decision-Making in Appellate Courts: An Austrian Experience (p. 195)

Part IV. Collegiate Courts in a Non-European Civil Law Jurisdiction: The Case of Japan

Chapter 11: Collective Judging by Collegiate Courts in Japan (p. 205)

Part V. Supranational and International Collegiate Courts

Chapter 12: The Fine-Mechanics of Judicial Decision-Making at the European Court of Human Rights (p. 225)

Chapter 13: Collective Judging in the Court of Justice of the European Union (p. 253)

Chapter 14: The Anatomy of the Deliberation Process at International Criminal Tribunals (p. 267)

Chapter 15: Collective Judging in the Catholic Church (p. 283)

Part VI. Voices from the Audience and Closing Remarks

Chapter 16: Decision-Making by the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (p. 291)

Chapter 17: Collegiality and Collectivity in Common Law Courts (p. 303)

Chapter 18: Should Judges Tell Us What They Think? (p. 323)

Chapter 19: Beyond Anecdote and Synecdoche (p. 327)

Chapter 20: Concluding Remarks (p. 339)