SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Fielding, Nigel G. (March 2011). Judges and Their Work. Social & Legal Studies: An International Journal, 20(1): 97-115.

LOs 10-2 and 10-3

The article discusses judicial activism in the light of research into the attitudes of English judges, and a comparator group of US judges, towards judicial selection, judicial training and sentencing practice. Noting commonalities and shared perspectives, it is argued that the findings indicate enduring features of occupational culture that originate in relations within the legal workgroup and the practical craft of judging. Against the context of highly conventional attitudes, a conservative form of judicial activism is found in respect of resistance to legislative and policy innovation.


Article 2: Garcia, Stephen M., John M. Darley & Robert J. Robinson (June 2001). Morally Questionable Tactics: Negotiations between District Attorneys and Public Defenders. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(6): 731-743.

LO 10-4

A questionnaire study about bargaining tactics was conducted among 163 public defenders (PDs) and district attorneys (DAs) in the criminal justice system. The authors hypothesized that PDs (defensive roles) would perceive questionable tactics to be more appropriate than would DAs (offensive roles), that PDs and DAs would elevate their approval of questionable tactics for counter aggression purposes, and that PDs would elevate their approval for counter aggression to a greater extent than would DAs. Results supported these hypotheses. The authors also examined the basis of the status quo bias, because previous status quo bias studies always confounded power with defensive role. After testing four status quo bias hypotheses, results suggested that, contrary to previous explanations, a defender-challenger framework sometimes provides a better account of the status quo bias than does a power framework.