Political jurisprudence

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Political jurisprudence is a legal theory that some judicial decisions are motivated more by politics than by unbiased judgment. According to Professor Martin Shapiro of University of California, Berkeley, who first noted the theory in 1964: "The core of political jurisprudence is a vision of courts as political agencies and judges as political actors." Legal decisions are no longer focused on a judge's analytical analysis (as in Analytical jurisprudence), but rather it is the judges themselves that become the focus for determining how the decision was reached. Political jurisprudence advocates that judges are not machines but are influenced and swayed by the political system and by their own personal beliefs of how the law should be decided. That is not to say necessarily that judges arbitrarily make decisions they personally feel should be right without regard to stare decisis. Instead they are making decisions based on their political, legal, and personal beliefs as it relates to the law. Deeply, and with more implication for the society, the decisions of the judges is not only modified from the politics, but modify itself the politics and the process of law making in a so influent way, that we can say that the policy-making is "judicialized".[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stone Sweet, Alec. "Governing with Judges". Oxford University Press, 2000, 1.


  • 1. Shapiro, Martin. "Political Jurisprudence", Kentucky Law Journal, 52 (1964), 294.
  • 2. Shapiro, Martin and Stone Sweet, Alec. "On Law, Politics, & Judicialization". Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • 3. Stone Sweet, Alec. "Governing with Judges". Oxford University Press, 2000.