Inside Out or Outside In? Looking at Judges’ Relations with the Public in Canada and China

Archie Zariski, Changqing Shi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter presents comparative case studies of relations between members of the judiciary in Canada and China with the public in general in those countries. It adopts a conceptual and theoretical framework centered on comparing internal (participants) and external (observers) perspectives on the judicial institution specifically as they relate to questions of social legitimacy of courts and their judges. The actions of several prominent judges in both countries concerning high profile cases and issues are described and analyzed within this framework. The responses of the judiciaries of Canada and China to the challenge they share of securing and protecting their legitimacy in the eyes of the public are thus compared and contrasted. Two types of counter-intuitive results of this comparison are found: those where the two judiciaries appear to be following the same steps, but when examined closely, for different purposes, and the opposite situation where actions differ but purposes accord. These situations occur respectively in the areas of regulation of judicial activity in local matters, and actions intended to enhance the sociological legitimacy of the judiciary.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIus Gentium
Number of pages41
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameIus Gentium
ISSN (Electronic)2214-9902


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