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The Steadying Effect of Law-Conditioned Officials

Cotter, John



This chapter, the first in Part I, discusses the role of judges' legal educational and professional backgrounds in steadying their judicial decisions. The chapter commences by acknowledging a significant obstacle to legal certainty: that the pressure exerted on judges by legal doctrine and known doctrinal techniques depends ultimately on the judge's perceptions of those factors as possessing normative character. The chapter then introduces Llewellyn's answer to this problem in the context of the American appellate courts: that judges are law-conditioned officials who have an internalised acceptance of the limiting effect of the legal rules and interpretive techniques and who, due to commonalities in their backgrounds and outlook, apply more uniform solutions to substantive legal interpretative problems. This chapter then examines what Llewellyn meant by law-conditioned official and describes his views on how law conditioning promotes steadier outcomes.


Cotter, J. (2022). The Steadying Effect of Law-Conditioned Officials. . Edward Elgar Publishing.

Acceptance Date May 6, 2022
Publication Date May 6, 2022
Deposit Date Jun 2, 2023
Pages 51-63
ISBN 9781788979559; 9781788979542; 9781788979559