American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 52, Issue 2 (2016)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


Judicial emotions—their display in the courtroom, influence on judicial behavior, and ultimately, their impact on public trust in the judiciary—are under scrutiny as neuro-scientists and social scientists take a fresh look at judicial work and conduct. Emotions and their regulation raise important issues for the exercise of judicial authority, a role in which emotion is formally excised.1 What has been called “emotional labor” is one of several key concepts guiding empirical research and offering insights into how judges undertake their work.2 Other related or overlapping concepts include implicit bias, mindfulness, and procedural fairness. Judges have been introduced to these concepts and associated research through several articles published in the journal Court Review over recent years.3 One of these articles, an American Judges Association white paper titled “Minding the Court: Enhancing the Decision-Making Process,” highlights the degree to which these scientific insights are interrelated in their implications for judicial work.4 For example, consideration of these concepts and research initiatives has implications for judicial performance and the conduct of evaluations.5