Locating the Judge within Sentencing Research
Research into sentencing is undertaken from a range of theoretical, disciplinary and methodological perspectives. Each approach offers valuable insights, including a conception of the judge, sometimes explicit, often implicit. Little scholarly attention has been paid to directly interrogating the ways in which different research traditions construct the judge in the sentencing process. By investigating how different research approaches locate the judge as an actor in sentencing, theoretically and empirically, this article addresses that gap. It considers key examples of socio-legal scholarship which emphasise the judge as operating within experiential, emotional and social, as well as legal dimensions. This growing body of research offers a more social, relational and interactive understanding of the judge in sentencing, extending and complementing the valuable, but necessarily limited, insights of other research approaches about the place of the judge in sentencing.
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