The Decisions and Ideal Points of British Law Lords

Hanretty, Chris (2013) The Decisions and Ideal Points of British Law Lords. British Journal of Political Science, 43 (03). pp. 703-716. ISSN 0007-1234

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    Abstract

    Policy-sensitive models of judicial behaviour, whether attitudinal or strategic, have largely passed Britain by. This article argues that this neglect has been benign, because explanations of judicial decisions in terms of the positions of individual judges fare poorly in the British case. To support this argument, the non-unanimous opinions of British Law Lords between 1969 and 2009 are analysed. A hierarchical item-response model of individual judges’ votes is estimated in order to identify judges’ locations along a one-dimensional policy space. Such a model is found to be no better than a null model that predicts that every judge will vote with the majority with the same probability. Locations generated by the model do not represent judges’ political attitudes, only their propensity to dissent. Consequently, judges’ individual votes should not be used to describe them in political terms.

    Item Type: Article
    Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Political, Social and International Studies
    University of East Anglia > Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Media@uea
    University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Media@uea

    University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
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    Depositing User: Chris Hanretty
    Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2012 15:34
    Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 03:27
    URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/39829
    DOI: 10.1017/S0007123412000270

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