Judicial Humour and Inter-Professional Relations in the Courtroom

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

4 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional understandings of the judicial role emphasise impersonality, leaving little space for humour. However, the courtroom is a workplace where different professions come together, each highly dependent on the other. Solicitors, barristers and police prosecutors (in lower courts) provide information or undertake tasks necessary for judicial decision-making. Although judicial officers in both higher and lower courts have considerable formal legal authority, their direct supervisory power over the out-of-court work of these other professionals is limited. This observational study of Australian lower courts finds that one strategy magistrates adopt to bridge this gap is humour. A magistrate’s practical use of humour can help judicial officers meet organisational challenges such as time management, while the normative use of humour delineates inter-professional roles and obligations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJudges, Judging and Humour
EditorsJessica Milner Davis , Sharyn Roach Anleu
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)9783319767383
ISBN (Print)9783319767376
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Courts
  • courtroom workgroup
  • Judges
  • judicial humour
  • humour and professions


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  • Judges, Judging and Humour

    Milner Davis, J. & Roach Anleu, S., 2018, First ed. Switzerland: Palgrave. 335 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthologypeer-review

    Open Access
    7 Citations (Scopus)
    39 Downloads (Pure)

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