Judicial institutions

Authored by: Julio Ríos-Figueroa

Routledge Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415630887
eBook ISBN: 9781315731377
Adobe ISBN: 9781317551799


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Judicial institutions arbitrate and adjudicate disputes of various sorts within a political community. The basic social logic of courts and judges is rooted in the triad for conflict resolution: whenever two actors come into a conflict that they cannot themselves solve they call upon a third for assistance (Shapiro 1981: 1). According to this simple but universal view of judicial institutions, the effectiveness and efficiency of the third-party is related to the extent that he or she is neutral to the issue in dispute and independent from the parties in conflict, as well as to the extent to which it applies pre-existing legal norms after adversary proceedings (Shapiro 1981). The immediate role of judicial institutions would then be to resolve specific disputes.

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