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Vol 22 No 11 Nov/Dec 2017

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Judging in Good Faith

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Steven J. BurtonUniversity of Iowa

ISBN13: 9780521419949
ISBN: 0521419948
Published: April 1994
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £63.00

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This book offers an original theory of adjudication focused on the ethics of judging in courts of law, and proposes two main theses. One is the good faith thesis, which defends the possibility of lawful judicial decisions even when judges exercise discretion. The other is the permissible discretion thesis, which defends the compatibility of judicial discretion and legal indeterminacy with the legitimacy of adjudication in a constitutional democracy. Together these two theses oppose both conservative theories that would restrict the scope of adjudication unduly, and leftist critical theories that would liberate judges from the rule of law.

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Part I: The Good Faith Thesis:
1. Stubborn indeterminacy
2. The good faith thesis
3. An illustrative case and first objections
Part II. The Permissible Discretion Thesis:
4. Science and skepticism.
5. Critical claims
6. Philosophies of law
Part III. Law, Morals and Politics:
7. Legal and moral duties
8. The politics of good faith