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Lay and professional judges in Europe’s labour courts: does the professional judge dominate?

Lay and professional judges in Europe’s labour courts: does the professional judge dominate?

Corby, Susan ORCID: 0000-0002-7702-3425, Burgess, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-7702-3425, Holand, Armin, Michel, Helene and Willemez, Laurent (2019) Lay and professional judges in Europe’s labour courts: does the professional judge dominate? Industrial Law Journal. ISSN 0305-9332 (Print), 1464-3669 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/indlaw/dwz012)

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Abstract

Several European countries have a first instance ‘mixed’ labour court, that is a judicial panel comprising a professional judge and two or more lay judges, the latter with experience as employees or employers/managers. The lay judges’ main contribution is their workplace knowledge, but they act in a juridical setting where legal norms prevail, so does the professional judge, despite being in a minority, dominate? This article seeks to address this question by focusing on first instance labour courts in Great Britain, Germany and France. Theories of differential power, particularly status characteristics theory, and previous empirical research indicate that professional judges dominate, but our findings are more nuanced. Based on 177 interviews in three countries, we find that professional judge dominance varies according to the country’s institutional context and the salience of lay judges’ workplace knowledge. These institutional differences, however, are mediated by the attitudes of the judicial actors. Many interviewees noted that some lay judges were more prepared to challenge the professional judge than others, while others observed that some professional judges were more inclusive than others.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: employment tribunals, labour courts, judges, lay judges, status characteristics
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW)
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2019 15:25
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/24597

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