Judicial Process

CALS members have research interests in the nature of judicial process in common law and civil jurisdictions and publish in this area.

The Judicial Process research cluster, based at the Centre for American Legal Studies

Judicial Process and Global Constitutionalism

They have a particular interest in the relationship of the judiciary with the other branches of government and work with scholars and members of the judiciary in the U.S., Latin America and Europe to identify comparative perspectives and promote dialogue and the cross-fertilisation of ideas.

CALS members also have interests in the values and practice of the common law constitutional heritage and promote dialogue concerning the theory and practice of constitutionalism with their international partners.

Researchers involved

Research projects

Judicial Deference and the Administrative State

This project is carried out jointly with the Post-Graduate Law Program of the University Estácio de Sá/PPGD-Unesa (with support of the Post-Graduate Administrative Justice Program of the Fluminense Federal University/PPGJA-UFF) with the aim of providing  a comparative examination of the judicial role in public law cases.

The background to the project is the current excessive amount of litigation in administrative matters in Brazil which now threatens to overwhelm the judicial system, and prompts calls for a comparative perspective.

In particular, it invites reflection on the possible tension between the requirements of due process and the parameters of judicial deference typical of judicial models in which the administrative decisions are subject to review proceedings conducted by quasi-judicial bodies which are themselves subject to  guarantees of due process (as in, e.g. UK, the USA, Canada, India, Japan).

The research objectives of the project are (1) to identify parallels and contrasts between the theoretical approaches to judicial deference to administrative decisions (front-line decisions and adjudication decisions) in the common law world and Latin America; (2) to explain the variety of judicial arguments in favor of deference and to correlate them with the corresponding constitutional theories; (3) to contribute to the understanding of the theoretical foundations of judicial deference in the sphere of administrative decision-making.

Promoting Global Constitutional Dialogue

CALS members have interests in the theory and practice of constitutionalism.

This project draws together CALS members with global partners to promote dialogue and enhance cross-cultural constitutional assumptions and their relationships with judicial practice.

 In September 2020, the Hon. Michael Kirby, formerly of the High Court of Australia and now Co-Chair of the International Bar Association met with CALS members and our partners from Brazil to explore global challenges for the Judiciary in the 21st century. Justice Kirby’s paper can be read and downloaded here.

 CALS has established the Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr. Lecture Series on Law and Justice to underpin these research interests. Judge Joseph A. Greenaway of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit who heads up the Editorial Board of the British Journal of American Legal Studies and supports the CALS internship programme delivered the inaugural lecture in March 21, 2019 on the theme: Speak at Your Own Peril.

This lecture considered the origins of the right to silence in the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the United States and compared the constitutional protections against self-incrimination with those of the United Kingdom.

It notes that the effect of the changes introduced by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994 is that there is now a fundamental divergence in approach between the two jurisdictions and concludes that as the twenty first century progresses, defendants on both sides of the Atlantic will be less likely to exercise their rights without consequence and then when they do choose to speak it will be at their peril.

The lecture can be read and downloaded here.

The theme for 2021 will be The Judiciary and the U.S. Electoral Process.

PhD opportunities

PhD applications are welcomed across all areas of human rights in the Americas, particularly in our areas of key activity.