" The authors provide an excellent examination of judicial independence that tends to raise more questions than answers…a fascinating book that raises important questions about a concept that is often used, but that is poorly understood… I would highly recommend this book for all scholars of public law because of its richness of information as well as how the essays call into question the common assumptions about what judicial independence is and how it can be protected" - Law & Politics Book Review
This new volume aims to break down the disciplinary barriers that have impeded scholarly analysis of, and public policy debates concerning, a subject of immense importance to the US and other developed and developing democracies. Judicial Independence at the Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Approach is a path-breaking collection of essays by leading scholars from the disciplines of law, political science, history, economics and sociology. As a result, the essays represent a strongly interdisciplinary perspective that enables the reader to identify common myths in scholarly and public discussions of judicial independence, and to engage more effectively with the key debates. The editors also highlight progress made towards a shared understanding and the considerable gaps in analysis and understanding that remain.
This book offers both scholars and politicians a guide to more fruitful research and sounder public policy at a time when federal judicial selection is one of the most contentious political issues in Washington. Given the explicitly comparative perspective of some of the chapters, the volume will be important reading not only for scholars and policy makers in the US but also for those interested in the topic in any other country that seeks to establish or reaffirm the importance of the rule of law.
About the Editors
Stephen B. Burbank is the David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Professor Burbank served as law clerk to Justice Robert Braucher of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and to Chief Justice Warren Burger. He was General Counsel of the University of Pennsylvania from 1975 to 1980. Professor Burbank is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Judicature Society, for which he also serves on the editorial committee, as chair of the amicus committee, and as co-chair of the Center for Judicial Independence Task Force. He has served as a Visiting Professor at the law schools of Goethe University (Frankfurt, Germany), Harvard University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pavia (Italy).
Barry Friedman (A.B. 1978, University of Chicago; J.D. 1982, Georgetown University) is a Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, where he writes and teaches in the areas of constitutional law, federal jurisdiction, and criminal procedure. Professor Friedman also practices law, both privately and pro bono, and has litigated in all levels of the state and federal courts, including on issues of judicial independence and federalism. He is completing a term of over eight years as an officer and executive committee member of the American Judicature Society. He remains the co-chair of AJS Task Force on Judicial Independence.