What Is Responsive Judging?

Tania Sourdin, Archie Zariski

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


In this chapter the Editors introduce the concept of responsive judging, examine its historical roots, and explore some of its manifestations in courts and judiciaries today. In general terms, judicial responsiveness is an acknowledgement by judges that the law is not an autonomous field of activity answerable only to its own norms, but is rather a semi-autonomous practice embedded in society which answers to the desire for justice of members of that society. Such a conception of responsiveness is compared to more traditional jurisprudential analyses of law and a view of law as intersecting and interacting with society is preferred. Some elements of responsiveness are explored including accountability, concern for consequences of decisions and the experiences of litigants, as well as the need for open communication with the public. Critiques of responsive judging are examined and answered. The chapter concludes with an overview of the aspirations and examples of responsive judging which appear in the following chapters.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIus Gentium
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameIus Gentium
ISSN (Electronic)2214-9902


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