Researching Judicial Emotion and Emotion Management

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The conventional image of the judge requires detached, dispassionate, impersonal and rational legal decision-making. This image is descriptive, normative and aspirational and excludes emotion as (potentially) jeopardizing impartiality, the foundational judicial value. Yet, growing empirical research points to the embeddedness of emotion in judicial work. Judicial officers must manage their own emotions in line with this model of emotionless judging. They also may attempt to manage the emotions of various court participants as part of maintaining courtroom decorum and efficiency. Moreover, judicial officers can deploy emotions as strategies for presenting the conventional image of the judge and achieving judicial outcomes. Two research projects - one in Australia, the other in the United States - document the ways judicial officers experience, describe, use and manage emotion as part of their judicial work. The rich interview data from two studies in different countries enables investigation of judicial emotion performance, revealing the informal norms and boundaries of appropriate or acceptable judicial emotional experience and display as described and constituted by judicial officers themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Law and Emotion
EditorsSusan A. Bandes, Jody Lynnee Madeira, Kathryn D. Temple, Emily Kidd White
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherEdward Elgar
Pages180 - 195
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781788119085
ISBN (Print)9781788119078
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameResearch Handbooks in Legal Theory
PublisherEdward Elgar


  • Judicial performance
  • judicial excellence
  • interviews


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