How Judges Decide: Lecture | University of Oxford

How Judges Decide: Lecture

Speaker
Justice Robert E Sharpe, Ontario Court of Appeal
Event date
Event time
17:30 - 18:30
Venue
Wolfson College
Linton Road
Oxford
OX2 6UD
Venue details

Leonard Wolfson Auditorium

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Free
Disabled access?
Yes
Booking required
Recommended

Whether deciding on fundamental principles of common law, interpreting the articles of constitutions, or making sense of the explosion of human rights, courts, especially the higher and supreme courts, are called on to decide issues of importance for the common good and for the rights and interests of individual persons.

In performing this role, courts operate under principles of independence, which means they are neither directly responsive nor directly accountable to the political process.

How then do judges decide cases, especially hard cases? What are the underlying principles, the informal guidelines, the constraints and limitations? The aim of this lecture - and workshop the day after - is to consider further the judicial process, the kinds of arguments and reasons that count, the constraints under which they must operate.

Justice Robert Sharpe of the Ontario Court of Appeal opens the proceedings with this lecture, drawing on his experience as both judge and academic.