Abstract

Today, “judicial sensibility” denotes judges’ capacity to sequester emotions from the deliberation process. This paper identifies a missing link in the evolution of public impressions of judges’ objectivity. Following early modern political texts on “impartiality” and anticipating the nineteenth-century spread of the phrase “judicial sensibility,” eighteenth-century literary and philosophical writings contrast overly emotional and insufficiently attuned judges. Drawing on the writings of Robert Chambers (Chief Justice of the British Supreme Court of Bengal), Frances Burney, Adam Ferguson, Henry Fielding, Adam Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Walter Scott, I show that such works encouraged misgivings concerning judges who were disconnected from circuits of feeling.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 329-352
Launched on MUSE
2015-03-19
Open Access
No
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