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This book draws on theories and techniques from psychology to understand the role of values in Supreme Court decision making. It centres on a novel method of content analysis of judgments to reveal the values that underpin decision making and discusses the potential implications this may have for developments in the law and the appointment of the judiciary.
The book examines those cases which divide judicial opinion, Dworkin’s hard cases “in which the result is not clearly dictated by statute or precedent”. In hard cases there is real uncertainty about the legal rules that should be applied and factors beyond the traditional legal sources may influence the decision making. It is in these uncertain cases, where legal developments can rest on a single judicial decision, that values are revealed in the judgments.