Emotion Work as Judicial Work

Sharyn Roach Anleu, Kathy Mack

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The emotional dimensions of judicial work are investigated from various perspectives and methods. A focus of this emerging research is the idea that emotion is not entirely spontaneous, uncontrolled or irrational. Emotions can be resources in everyday judicial work, as well as needing regulation. This chapter investigates judicial experience and display of emotion, including judicial officers’ observations, anticipation or perception of the emotion of others, and the practices judicial officers adopt to manage their own emotions and those of others. Close examination of two segments from interviews with judicial officers using a sociological framework draws out the layered dimensions of judicial emotion work. Although this work occurs within institutional and organisational constraints, in particular the dominant cultural script of judicial dispassion, this analysis demonstrates multiple ways emotion is a resource to achieve practical, normative and ethical goals and confirms the intertwining of emotion work with judicial work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe judge, the judiciary and the courts
Subtitle of host publicationIndividual, collegial and institutional judicial dynamics in Australia
EditorsGabrielle Appleby, Andrew Lynch
Place of PublicationCambridge, UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781108859332
ISBN (Print)978-1-108-49461-8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • emotional dimensions
  • judicial work
  • sociological framework
  • judicial emotion work


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