Judicial conduct, guidance and emotion

Sharyn Roach Anleu, Jennifer Elek, Kathy Mack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Expectations of judicial conduct are changing. Judicial officers must pay
more attention to emotions, exercise different judicial emotional capacities
and engage in more emotion work, including management of the judicial
officer’s own emotions or those of others. Judicial conduct guides
emphasise interactional qualities such as patience, courtesy, temperament
or detachment, and so implicitly acknowledge the presence of emotion and
anticipate emotion work on the part of the judicial officer. However, the place
of emotion in judicial work is rarely directly addressed, nor is the language
of emotion or feeling used. In contrast, judicial officers themselves express
considerable awareness of emotion and describe intentional strategies to
manage emotion. Available conduct guidance, in Australia and the United
States of America (US), does not adequately address the actual emotional
experiences faced by judicial officers in their everyday work. The Elements
of Judicial Excellence, an innovative project from the National Center for
State Courts (US), integrates research findings from judges themselves to
generate concrete strategies for individual judicial officers and for wider
cultural change within the courts and judiciary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-239
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Judicial Administration
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Judicial conduct
  • emotion work
  • judging


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