Joint ACLE/SPUI25 Book Presentation and Discussion on Judicial Systems Around the World: The Reputation of Judges

Judicial Systems Around the World:
The Reputation of Judges
Joint ACLE/SPUI25 Book Presentation and Discussion
Nuno Garoupa – Texas A&M University School of Law
Heico Kerkmeester – Court of Appeal for Trade and Industry and
University of Antwerp
Dory Reiling – Amsterdam District Court
Leonard Besselink – University of Amsterdam
    Personal pages Garoupa / Kerkmeester / Reiling / Besselink

Thursday 21 May | 20:00 – 21:30 | SPUI25
SPUI25 | Spui 25-27 |1012 XM Amsterdam | Google Maps
Why do judicial systems vary around the world? Traditionally, theories trying to explain this draw heavily on history, tradition and culture. American Professor of Law Nuno Garoupa puts forth a new approach, drawing from the economics of information. He claims that the relationship between society and the judiciary and its features are determined by reputation. What does this mean for our view of different systems around the world, and for the judicial system in the Netherlands?

Judges, as Alexander Hamilton famously noted, lack the purse or the sword, and so must rely on their reputation to secure compliance with their decisions. As Nuno Garoupa will explain, reputation can be seen as a key element in explaining a good deal of the variation in judicial systems that we observe around the world. Reputation is a quality of both the judiciary as a whole, but also of individual judges, and different systems of organization encourage investment in different parts of reputation. Seen this way, we are able to account for change over time in response to broader changes in society. It enables us to speculate on how judicial reputation has been affected by globalization, but can prove helpful in analyzing the Dutch system as well.

In their new book Judges as Team Players: The Economics of Judicial Reputation, Garoupa and Ginsburg use the economics of information to understand the organization of judicial systems around the world. What are the benefits of this model? Why and how is reputation a key part of this analysis? Audiences are vital when it comes to reputation. They can be internal (judiciary) or external (political branches, legal experts, public opinion) thus inducing individual and collective reputation which in many cases conflict. What do these conflicts entail, and how do they influence judicial organization? And what does this mean for the situation in the Netherlands, with its absence of a constitutional court, the influence of international and European courts and legal reforms to improve court performance?

Nuno Garoupa will discuss this with judge and professor of law Heico Kerkmeester and judge and judicial reform specialist Dory Reiling.

Moderator: Leonard Besselink.
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