Legal Realism and Australian Constitutional Law

Article


Patrick, Jeremy. 2022. "Legal Realism and Australian Constitutional Law." Journal of Judicial Administration. 32 (1), pp. 3-13.
Article Title

Legal Realism and Australian Constitutional Law

ERA Journal ID35442
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorPatrick, Jeremy
Journal TitleJournal of Judicial Administration
Journal Citation32 (1), pp. 3-13
Number of Pages11
Year2022
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN1036-7918
Web Address (URL)https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4018056
Abstract

Our traditional understanding of judicial decision-making is that judges apply the law to a set of facts and reach a result. This is known as legal formalism. But what if this is backwards? What if the process of judicial reasoning is to decide on the result, and then rhetorically justify it with particular interpretations of legal rules and facts? This paper applies the descriptive theory of legal realism in a particular context (Australian constitutional law) alongside a qualitative empirical study to help decide whether legal formalism or legal realism best explains High Court decision-making.

KeywordsAustralian Constitution, Legal Realism, Jurisprudence, High Court
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480702. Constitutional law
480410. Legal theory, jurisprudence and legal interpretation
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law and Justice
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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