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Preview: Journal of Judicial Administration

Journal of Judicial Administration



Volume 16, Number 2, November 2006



Published: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 15:33:55 EST

 



ARTICLES

Fri, 27 Oct 2006 15:33:55 EST

Volume 16, Number 2, November 2006



Measuring court performance

Fri, 27 Oct 2006 15:33:55 EST

Volume 16, Number 2, November 2006 p.69
The article considers the applicability to the courts of managerialism and performance measurement. The most important aspects of the judicial function are capable only of qualitative assessment. Values that are at the heart of the administration of justice, such as fairness, accessibility, impartiality and rationality, are simply not capable of measurement, not even by proxy-indicators. Quantatative performance measurement tends to reduce citizens to consumers. Furthermore, such measurement frequently has perverse effects. Surveys of so-called "client satisfaction" are not a quality indicator of any utility for courts.



Attrition in child sexual assault cases: Why Lord Chief Justice Hale got it wrong

Fri, 27 Oct 2006 15:33:55 EST

Volume 16, Number 2, November 2006 p.81
Successful criminal prosecutions for sexual offences against children are more difficult to secure than for any other offence. Sexual assault defendants are less likely than other defendants to plead guilty, less likely to proceed to trial, and more likely to be acquitted. Nevertheless, four centuries after Lord Hale expressed the view that accusations of rape are easily made and hard to refute, the adage is still repeated as though it were established truth in contemporary court decisions and by 21st century lawyers. While there is widespread agreement in the research literature about the entrenched difficulties in child sexual assault cases, the underlying reasons for the low conviction rate are less well understood. It is argued that socio-legal, systemic and child-related factors may contribute to the high attrition rate in child sexual assault cases. The need for further research is discussed.



The therapeutic dimension of judging: The example of sentencing

Fri, 27 Oct 2006 15:33:55 EST

Volume 16, Number 2, November 2006 p.92
In deciding the facts of a case, determining the law and applying the law to the facts to reach a judgment, judicial officers exercise primarily analytical skills. However other aspects of the judicial role -- such as promoting respect for the legal system and compliance with the law -- also call for the exercise of interpersonal skills including the ability to listen and communicate effectively with an ethic of care and the ability to motivate others to consider positive change. Such skills are particularly called upon in problem-solving courts such as drug courts and family violence courts. But they should be skills exercised by every judicial officer. Drawing on the principles of therapeutic jurisprudence, this article illustrates how a judicial officer's attention to process and the proper exercise of interpersonal skills in sentencing can promote justice system goals. Interpersonal skills and therapeutic court processes should be subjects included in judicial training.



Cross-fertilisation between civil law countries and common law countries: The importance of judicial dialogue in criminal proceedings

Fri, 27 Oct 2006 15:33:55 EST

Volume 16, Number 2, November 2006 p.106
The article addresses the need for judicial dialogue among common law and civil law jurisdictions in different criminal justice systems as part of the cross-fertilisation process in the field of human rights and criminal proceedings. The analysis is based on a case study of the introduction of the adversarially oriented Criminal Code of Proceedings in Italy and on the result of interviews with judges in Europe. The article argues that, in criminal matters, there is an inadequate horizontal judicial dialogue across civil law jurisdictions and common law jurisdictions. This lack of dialogue reduces understanding of other legal systems, so that the judiciary is ineffective and slow in responding to a demanding new role in a wider, globalised legal regime.