Judicial Personal Values and Decision-Making
Download PDF


Judicial personal values
Judicial decision-making
Legal decision-making process



Submitted : 2024-04-13
Accepted : 2024-04-28
Published : 2024-05-13


This paper briefly describes the background of Justice Callinan’s view in the case of Cattanach v Melchior, subsequently exploring the existence and role of judicial personal values in sentencing from several legal theories, legal experiments, and specific case studies. The paper also illustrates the merits of judicial personal values and critiques some opposing views. Finally, it is concluded that expressing judicial personal values enhances persuasiveness and provides better guidance for the development of the law, which in turn fosters legal decision-making.


Cattanach v Melchior, 2003, 215 CLR 1, https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/HCA/2003/38.html

Maxeiner JR, 2008, Some Realism about Legal Certainty in the Globalization of the Rule of Law. Houston Journal of International Law, 31(1): 28–45. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-3749-7_4

Cohen DS, 1998, Chief Justice Nemetz’s Judicial Record: Judicial Decision-Making and Judicial Values. University of British Columbia Law Review, 23(1): 97–98.

Callaghan RJCO, 2013, The Influence of Personal Values on Legal Judgments. Journal of Law and Society, 40(4): 596¬–598. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6478.2013.00642.x

Kramer MH, 2009, Naturalizing Jurisprudence: Essays on American Legal Realism and Naturalism in Legal Philosophy Book Review. Criminal Law and Philosophy, 3(1): 107–110.

Biderman PL, 1996, Of Vulcans and Values: Judicial Decision-Making and Implications for Judicial Education. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 47(3): 64. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-6988.1996.tb00838.x

Gordon RW, 1986, Critical Legal Studies Symposium on Humanistic Legal Studies, Critical Legal Studies and the Marxist Sociology of Law. Legal Studies Forum, 10(3): 335–338.

Schwartz S, 2012, An Overview of the Schwartz Theory of Basic Values, Online Readings in Psychology and Culture. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/orpc/vol2/iss1/11

Waldron J, Cheng H, Chen C, 2009, The Core of the Case against Judicial Review Theoretical Discussion. US-China Law Review, 6(10): 30–33.

Black D, Unger RM, 1977, Rationalist and Normative Approaches to the Sociological Study of Law Review Essays. Law & Society Review, 12(1): 142–144. https://doi.org/10.2307/3053323

David Wood Associate, 2001, Community Values and Judicial Decisions. Journal of Judicial Administration, 11(1): 43–45.