Judging and Emotion Work: Discipline Processes as Guidance

Sharyn Roach Anleu, Kathy Mack, Jennifer Elek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What constitutes good judging has long been a matter of discussion. Models of good judging contain norms about judicial demeanor and emotion, especially in court, though typically not expressed in those terms. The conventional model of the impartial judge characterises emotion as incompatible with, and potentially undermining, impartiality and so threatening the legitimacy of judicial authority and the rule of law. However, judicial work necessarily engages a wide range of emotions and requires considerable emotion capacities, which can (appear to) conflict with this expectation of dispassionate, impersonal, and detached judging. Performing judicial authority can entail considerable emotion works on the part of the judicial officer, managing the judicial officer's own felt and displayed emotion, as well as those of other courtroom participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-163
Number of pages12
JournalCourt Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Judging
  • Judicial demeanor
  • Impartial
  • Emotion


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