Rowman and Littlefield International
Policy Making in an Independent Judiciary

Policy Making in an Independent Judiciary

The Norwegian Supreme Court

By Eric N. Waltenburg

Publication Date: Sep 2015

Pages 254

ECPR Press

Paperback 9781785521300
£30.00 €41.00 $46.00

How do the justices of a nation's highest court arrive at their decisions? In the context of the US Supreme Court, the answer to this question is well established: justices seek to enshrine policy preferences in their decisions, but they do so in a manner consistent with ‘the law' and in recognition that they are members of an institution with defined expectations and constraints. In other words, a justice's behaviour is a function of motives, means, and opportunities. Using Norway as a case study, this book shows that these forces are not peculiar to the decisional behaviour of American justices. Employing a modified attitudinal model, Grendstad, Shaffer and Waltenburg establish that the preferences of Norway's justices are related to their decisions. Consequently, the authors show how an understanding of judicial behaviour developed and most fully tested in the American judicial system is transportable to the courts of other countries.


List of Figures and Tables ix

Acknowledgements xiii

Preface xv

Chapter One – Introduction: Politics and the Norwegian Supreme Court 1

Chapter Two – Institutional Structure and Process 31

Chapter Three – The Decisional Processes of the Norwegian Supreme Court 61

Chapter Four – Policy Making by Appointment: The Composition of the

Norwegian Supreme Court 1945–2009 75

Chapter Five – Public Economic Interests vs. Private Economic Rights 97

Chapter Six – The Presence and Effect of Women on the Court: Family and

Criminal Law 121

Chapter Seven – Government Friendliness of Supreme Court Justices 143

Chapter Eight – ‘The Super Legislators’: Supreme Court Justices as the

Guardians of the Constitution 163

Chapter Nine – Conclusion: Reflections on the Attitudinal Model 193

Appendices 207

Index 229

Eric N Waltenburg is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Purdue University. His research interests concern judicial politics and state politics. He is the author or co-author of four books on judicial politics.

Gunnar Grendstad is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Bergen. He has published books and articles on political behaviour, environmental behaviour, American presidents, and Scandinavian politics.

William R Shaffer is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Purdue University. He has published books and articles on judicial, legislative and electoral behaviour, and on Scandinavian politics.

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