Judges and Their Emotions
Maroney, Terry A.
This article has briefly set forth the fundamental flaws in the ideal of judicial dispassion, made the case that judges are best advised to engage with rather than suppress their emotions, and demonstrated how taking such an approach can maximise beneficial iterations of judicial anger while minimising destructive ones. Unfortunately, neither law schools nor judicial institutes routinely address these issues,alone provide the necessary training this appears to be as true in the British Isles as in the USA. The US medical profession, facing a strikingly similar challenge, has begun to do so, with uniformly positive results. Though the research remains preliminary, it seems that more emotionally intelligent doctors are not only happier, more well-adjusted people, but better doctors as well. 93 One highly promising move would be to develop a parallel approach for judicial education. A comparative approach might also yield important insights. Particularly in the Continental system, judges are more coherently trained than in the US and in the British Isles, where judges train as lawyers and are either appointed or elected straight out of practice. The career-track model of judging therefore may provide more natural opportunities for training. It is also worth considering whether cultural differences might reliably track differences in judicial emotion and its regulation. In addition to pilot work that has begun in Australia,94 a research duo has just begun to undertake an ambitious project to observe and analyse judges' emotions in Sweden. Were such studies to both proliferate and coordinate, the potential would be enormous. Judicial emotion is truly terra nova for legal scholars, psychologists, sociologists, and so many others. One hopes that more brave judges will step forward to share their experience and help us navigate this terrain.