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Final Judgment


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Table of Contents

1: Introduction, Context and Methodology Sources and Methodology Judicial Notebooks Elite Interviews The Drawbacks of Oral History Definitions 2: The Dialogue with Counsel Introduction The Context of the Dialogue Between Counsel and the Judges in the Final Court Expectations which Constrain Initiating the Dialogue The Courtroom Dialogue How has the Dialogue Between Counsel and The Court Changed? Have the Qualities of Good Appellate Advocacy Changed? Persuasive Advocacy Robustness and Resilience Courage Timing Written Advocacy Does Advocacy Matter in the Final Court? Case Studies in Effective Advocacy Factors Which Make a Difference Conclusion 3: Dialogues with Colleagues-The Stages for Discourse Introduction The Preparatory Stages Laying the Groundwork Involvement in Permission to Appeal Decisions Being Chosen: The Selection of the Hearing Panel Doing the Homework: Reading of the Preliminary Materials The Oral Hearing Judicial Dialogues in the Courtroom Conclaves Off-stage: Dialogue Outside the Courtroom The First Conference Sharing of Preliminary Conclusions and Discussion The Allocation of the Lead Judgment Implications for the Future The Drafting Stage Order and Production of Circulation Multiple Judgments and the Pursuit of Unity Dissenting Opinions Circulation Time Conclusion 4: Dialogues with Colleagues-Efficacy in Judicial Dialogues Introduction Context Stages Time and Timing The Composition of the Panel Approaches to Collective Decision-Making: The Art of Persuasion Engagement of Judgments Team-working Leadership in the House of Lords Dissents, Individualism and Collegiality Task Leadership and the US Supreme Court Social Leadership Leadership Skills in the Supreme Court Social Leadership in the Supreme Court Geography Conclusion 5: Inter-Judicial Dialogues in Practice Voting Relationships Changes of Mind The Bingham Era 2000-09 The UK Supreme Court 2009-13 Conclusion 6: Wider Dialogues Old and New The Dialogue with the Court of Appeal The Dialogue with Academics Dialogues with Courts Overseas The Dialogue with Strasbourg Scots Appeals and London: A Fraught Relationship? Deference The Devolution Issues Jurisdiction Conclusion The Dialogue with Judicial Assistants The Job of the Judicial Assistant 7: The Dialogue with Other Branches of Government Setting the Scene The Dialogue with Parliament Judicial Activism and its Drawbacks Hard Cases Make Bad Law Justice, Certainty and Fairness Drawing the Line Who Really Draws the Line? Where Should the Lines be Drawn? Arguments from Parliamentary Activity and Inactivity Lines of Communication Conclusion The Dialogue with the Executive Intra-governmental Relations Attempts by the Executive to Engage with the Court Accountability The Challenge of Accountability 8: Final Reflections

About the Author

Alan Paterson, LLB (Edin), DPhil (Oxon), Solicitor, OBE, FRSA, FRSE is a Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Professional Legal Studies at the Strathclyde University Law School. His research has focused on the legal profession, access to justice, poverty legal services and the judiciary.

Reviews admirably researched, readable and fascinating addition to the growing literature on how judges go about their work. -- Michael Zander * New Law Journal, Volume 164, Issue number 7594 *
Unless you're a Supreme Court Justice or a retired Law Lord, this book offers you the best available insight into how our highest court operates. In fact, even if you are on the Supreme Court, you're likely to learn something from Final Judgment. What I've not told you is how unusually gripping Final Judgment is. Reading it over the Christmas holiday, I found it hard to put down - something I don't often feel when reading academic works. More than anything else, Final Judgment is a work of human intelligence about the inner workings of one of our most important institutions. I'll be rereading it soon, and revisiting it often. -- Carl Gardner * Head of Legal *
...a wise, perceptive, and at times funny work of scholarship... ...there is a huge amount of interest in this book for anyone interested in the judicial process. It is far from reverential, and the reader will come away with a much better idea of how judges at the top of the tree really make their decisions. -- David Hart QC * UK Human Rights Law Blog *
Mandatory reading for anyone professing interest in the common law. -- Richard Susskind * The Times *
...ground-breaking... -- Frances Gibb * The Times *
[An] entertaining and informative account of his discussions with Supreme Court judges -- David Pannick QC * The Times *
This fascinating and compelling account of the two courts before, during and after the transition, is a superb sequel to the author's first detailed examination of the UK final court of appeal. -- Derek O'Carroll * Scottish Legal Action Group Bulletin *
[This] marvelous new book [is one] that anyone teaching or writing about the U.S. Supreme Court or equivalent courts around the world should read. -- Herbert M. Kritzer * Law and Politics Book Review, Volume 24, Number 3 *
The book is a true work of scholarship. With great clarity and with the assistance of empirical research, it takes the reader deep into the judicial decision making process and explores the factors which impact on that process. It provides the reader with a unique and captivating insight into the inner working of the highest court in the country and explains the consequences of the dialogues which the judges engage in and the impact these have upon the judicial thinking and will be welcome to academics and practitioners alike. -- Masood Ahmed * Civil Justice Quarterly, Volume 33(3) *
It is both a fascinating survey and real life 'behind the scenes' review of the work of the Law Lords ... and their role in the highest court in the land. The work is unique in providing intimate portraits revealing the character and idiosyncrasies of the individuals who determine and apply the law at the ultimate level, because Paterson understands something that the Victorians also knew: that to comprehend the reasons why judgments are reached, one has to look beyond the mere 'letter of the law'. There is so much in this book that a review like this can only highlight some of the immediate and obvious points of interest, likewise it is difficult to offer any critical comment. There is a wealth of contextual information, examples and details that others will easily find engrossing and of significant relevance. -- Kim Stevenson * Law, Crime and History, Volume 2, 2014 *
This is an excellent monograph. The themes are clear and relevant, the research is meticulous. It is fun to read in places; some of the stories about counsel and judges, even academics, make one smile. Of course, many of those characters express themselves wonderfully, which also makes for a good read. -- Dawn Oliver * Cambridge Law Journal, Volume 73(2) *
The book is a mine of information...Patterson has assembled detailed evidence about what happens behind closed doors...[A] marvellous read and an outstanding work of legal scholarship. -- Sir Ross Cranston * Journal of Law and Society, Volume 41(4) *
...the book makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of judicial decision-making, since it is based on information that was unavailable so far, and without Paterson's research would have been lost to posterity. It is not an exaggeration to say that Final Judgment "provides a compelling and unrivalled view" into appellate judicial decision-making in the UK (i), and must be compulsory reading for everyone interested in how the UK Supreme Court works. -- Tamas Gyorfi * The Edinburgh Law Review *

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