1st Edition

How Judges Judge Empirical Insights into Judicial Decision-Making

By Brian M. Barry Copyright 2021
    312 Pages
    by Informa Law from Routledge

    312 Pages
    by Informa Law from Routledge

    A judge’s role is to make decisions. This book is about how judges undertake this task. It is about forces on the judicial role and their consequences, about empirical research from a variety of academic disciplines that observes and verifies how factors can affect how judges judge.

    On the one hand, judges decide by interpreting and applying the law, but much more affects judicial decision-making: psychological effects, group dynamics, numerical reasoning, biases, court processes, influences from political and other institutions, and technological advancement. All can have a bearing on judicial outcomes. In How Judges Judge: Empirical Insights into Judicial Decision-Making, Brian M. Barry explores how these factors, beyond the law, affect judges in their role. Case examples, judicial rulings, judges’ own self-reflections on their role and accounts from legal history complement this analysis to contextualise the research, make it more accessible and enrich the reader’s understanding and appreciation of judicial decision-making.

    Offering research-based insights into how judges make the decisions that can impact daily life and societies around the globe, this book will be of interest to practising and training judges, litigation lawyers and those studying law and related disciplines.


    1. Introduction

    2. The Psychology of Judicial Decision-Making

    3. Judges’ Professional Motivations and Judicial Decision-Making

    4. Judges’ Characteristics and their Effects on Judicial Decision-Making

    5. Litigants’ Characteristics and their Effects on Judicial Decision-Making

    6. Judicial Decision-Making in an Institutional Context: In-Court Influences

    7. Judicial Decision-Making in an Institutional Context: Beyond-Court Influences

    8. The Future of Judging


    Brian M. Barry is a lecturer in law at TU Dublin, Ireland. He completed his doctorate in Trinity College Dublin's School of Law in 2013 having graduated from there with an LLB in 2009. He has undertaken visiting scholarships in the University of Toronto and Columbia University and is qualified as a solicitor in Ireland.