Judicial Deliberation – A Comparative Analysis of the Decision-Making Processes in the Highest Civil Courts, Constitutional Courts and International Courts

by Lena Hornkohl, Habiba Abubaker, Lorenzo Gradoni, Priyanka Jain, Leon Marcel Kahl, Martina Mantovani, Janek Tomasz Nowak, Carlos Santaló Goris, Philippos Siaplaouras, Giorgia Spolverato, Anastasia Trubacheva, Enrique Vallines, Wiebke Voß

Preface by Professor Dr. Dres. h.c. Burkhard Hess

MPILux Working Paper 2022 (2)

Abstract: Deliberation between judges is key to the decision-making process in collegiate courts around the world. Its secretive nature and often non-binding traditions dictating the associated processes raise many questions. While the big picture of the process around the world shows certain similarities – above all the secrecy of the deliberation – many subtle differences exist. Overall, deliberation needs to be seen in the context of the whole decision-making process. In this sense, the process might involve actors beyond judges as well as preparatory drafting stages and communication between judges beyond the core deliberation itself.

The article aims at a comparative analysis of the deliberation and decision-making process between judges in the highest civil, commercial, constitutional courts or international courts against the background of different legal cultures and systems. Its objective is to unveil differences and similarities in approaches and legal traditions of national and international courts.

Keywords: deliberation, decision-making, drafting, judges, civil court, constitutional court, international court