Home > Online > Considering Reconsidering Judicial Independence

Considering Reconsidering Judicial Independence

The University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online presents the second installment of “Independent and Accountable Courts in Perilous Times: Perspectives from the Academy, the Bench, and the Bar.” The series continues with Professor Charles Geyh’s response, “Considering Reconsidering Judicial Independence.” Professor Geyh draws on Professor Burbank’s idea that judicial independence and judicial accountability are merely “two sides of the same coin” and goes further, positing that the two‐sided coin and its expected cyclical return to equilibrium is a “Hallmark after‐school special” version of the reality, and that curbing the erosion of the public perception of the judiciary will take more than reliance on that cycle perpetuating.

Primarily, Professor Geyh shows that in order to slow and stop the downward spiral, we must wean ourselves off the “antiquated” approach to judicial independence and accountability—the rule‐of‐law paradigm—by turning toward of a more robust “legal culture” paradigm which takes into account the fact that, indeed, judges’ decisions are necessarily subject to extra‐legal influences.