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Public Law & Legal Theory


This Article uses comparative evidence to inform the ongoing debate about the selection and discipline of judges. In recent decades, many countries around the world have created judicial councils, institutions designed to maintain an appropriate balance between judicial independence and accountability. Our Article has two aims. First, we provide a theory of the formation of judicial councils and identify some of the dimensions along which they differ. Second, we test the extent to which different designs of judicial council affect judicial quality. We find that there is little relationship between councils and quality. We also offer a positive explanation for why judicial councils nevertheless remain attractive institutions.



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