What Determines Judicial Prestige? An Empirical Analysis for Judges of the Federal Court of Australia

Smyth, Russell; Bhattacharya, Mita
March 2003
American Law & Economics Review;Spring2003, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p233
Academic Journal
This article examines judicial citations to analyze the determinants of judicial prestige in the Federal Court of Australia. First we construct two alternative measures of judicial prestige for all current and retired judges of the Federal Court. Second, we regress these measures of judicial prestige on a series of explanatory variables covering age on appointment, appointing government, prior experience, which law school the judge attended, how many law review articles the judge has published, gender, and tenure. We compare our results with those of previous studies that examine the determinants of judicial influence and prestige in courts in the United States and the High Court of Australia. One of the main contributions of the article is to provide evidence from an intermediate appellate court that can be used to test the general application of findings as to what determines judicial prestige in the United States to courts in other countries with different institutional frameworks.


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