Judges as Faithful Agents or Independent, Cooperative Actors?

Kent Greenawalt

in Statutory and Common Law Interpretation

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199756148
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979523 | DOI:
Judges as Faithful Agents or Independent, Cooperative Actors?

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This chapter mainly inquires how courts should regard the basic relation between legislatures and themselves: are they faithful agents or independent partners, or both? It shows that faithful agency is undoubtedly a large component of judicial interpretation of statutes but not the only component. Given all that courts appropriately do, their role is best seen as a combination of faithful agency and independent judgment. Neither basic concept alone, nor a combination of the two, resolves many particular issues about how statutes should be interpreted, and one important variable in this respect is the age of the statutes involved.

Keywords: courts; legislature; judicial roles; judges; faithful agents; independent partners

Chapter.  11022 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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