The Role of Comparative Law in the Analysis of Judicial Behavior

Lee Epstein, Urška Šadl, Keren Weinshall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Comparing and contextualizing what judges say about the law is the job of comparative legal analysis. Studying internal and external forces that explain the judges' choices and their societal effects is the core domain of the comparative study of judicial behavior. Although walls may seem to separate these two projects in terms of their theoretical approaches and methods, the barriers - and the obstacles - are more imagined than real. In an effort to highlight the complementarities between the two areas of studies - and issue what amounts to a standing invitation to comparative lawyers to contribute their specialized knowledge to the analysis of judging - the Article turns first to the aspirations of the study of judicial behavior. Next, we introduce six core theories of judging, along with the methods and data used to assess their implications. Along the way, we flag opportunities for future research, emphasizing potential collaborations among all scholars with an interest in comparative legal analysis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)689-719
Number of pages31
JournalAmerican Journal of Comparative Law
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Comparative Law. All rights reserved.


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