The Compassionate Judge (2007) Vol 1 Art 7

Costa Avgoustinos

Abstract

‘Out of touch’ dispassionate decisions often invite public outcry, but the weak ‘too lenient’ judge is also open to criticism. In this paper I examine the role which compassion plays in legal judgment, how compassion is exercised and the limits of compassion. I argue that not only does compassion have a role to play in legal judgment but that, to the extent that judges exercise compassion, compassion enhances the openness and transparency of the law.

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