Jack Knight
Duke U.



(Thursday, 19th May 2011)

Title : Judges and Legal Institutions

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The role of judges in a legal or political system has been the subject of an ever-increasing body of research in the social sciences. Central to this research is the question, how and why do judges make their decisions? This lecture will offer a critical assessment of the research on judicial decision-making. Special emphasis will be given to the various theories of judicial reasoning as well as to the effects of institutional context on judicial decisions.


  • Jack Knight and Lee Epstein, "Toward a Strategic Revolution in Judicial Politics: A Look Back, A Look Ahead", Political Research Quarterly (2000) 53:625-663.
  • Lee Epstein, Jack Knight and Andrew Martin, "Childress Lecture Symposium: The Political (Science) Context of Judging," St. Louis University Law Journal (2003) 47 (3): 783-817.
  • Jack Knight, "Are Empiricists Asking the Right Questions about Judicial Decision-making?" Duke Law Journal 2009.