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Interpreting the politics of the judiciary: the British senior judicial tradition and the pre-emptive turn in criminal justice

Interpreting the politics of the judiciary: the British senior judicial tradition and the pre-emptive turn in criminal justice
Interpreting the politics of the judiciary: the British senior judicial tradition and the pre-emptive turn in criminal justice
This article presents an interpretive politics of the judiciary, arguing for the value of interpretive political analysis in understanding developments in case law and judicial activity. It sketches out a senior judicial tradition, which is argued to guide but not predetermine the actions of the British senior judiciary. A case study, the senior judiciary’s response to the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence, is presented which draws on case law, extra-judicial speeches and interviews with five relevant serving or retired senior judges. It is argued that this case study demonstrates the senior judiciary to be politically attuned actors, often highly sensitive to the broader context in which their judgments sit, while equally being determined to act with fidelity to the law and the responsibilities inherent in membership of an independent, impartial judiciary. In closing, it is argued that the IPP case law suggests that the senior judicial tradition, and its inherent tensions, limits the extent to which the senior judiciary feel equipped to oppose the ‘pre-emptive turn’ in criminal justice.
1467-6478
339-366
Annison, Harry
91ee5a4a-811e-4b57-9fd4-df643465b2a1
Annison, Harry
91ee5a4a-811e-4b57-9fd4-df643465b2a1

Annison, Harry (2014) Interpreting the politics of the judiciary: the British senior judicial tradition and the pre-emptive turn in criminal justice. Journal of Law and Society, 41 (3), 339-366. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-6478.2014.00673.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article presents an interpretive politics of the judiciary, arguing for the value of interpretive political analysis in understanding developments in case law and judicial activity. It sketches out a senior judicial tradition, which is argued to guide but not predetermine the actions of the British senior judiciary. A case study, the senior judiciary’s response to the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence, is presented which draws on case law, extra-judicial speeches and interviews with five relevant serving or retired senior judges. It is argued that this case study demonstrates the senior judiciary to be politically attuned actors, often highly sensitive to the broader context in which their judgments sit, while equally being determined to act with fidelity to the law and the responsibilities inherent in membership of an independent, impartial judiciary. In closing, it is argued that the IPP case law suggests that the senior judicial tradition, and its inherent tensions, limits the extent to which the senior judiciary feel equipped to oppose the ‘pre-emptive turn’ in criminal justice.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 20 February 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 August 2014
Published date: September 2014
Organisations: Southampton Law School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367129
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367129
ISSN: 1467-6478
PURE UUID: 1679b6dd-d71e-4012-88b8-65d0d5b1113f
ORCID for Harry Annison: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6042-038X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Aug 2014 09:00
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:45

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