The article proposes a new approach to a central concept in the literature on judicial be-havior: legal culture. The legal culture of judges is the set of formal and informal professional norms that indicate how the legal framework should be interpreted and that define expectations about what type of conduct is appropriate within the judicial field. The concept has three dimen-sions: a) hermeneutic routines, b) judges’ vision of their role in the political system and c) their vision of their role within the judiciary. In the Latin American context, these dimensions translate into a continuum that goes from textualist or formalist legal cultures to interpretivist legal cultures close to neo-constitutionalism. The authors apply this conceptual architecture in Mexico with a survey of federal judges that measured different aspects of their legal culture. The survey captured attitudes about the judicial decision-making process. In particular, the instrument investigated how judges characterize their formal prerogatives and their work, the way in which they see their obligations with respect to the political system, and how they perceive their ability to issue innova-tive jurisprudence. The results indicate the presence of textualist and interpretivist legal cultures within the Mexican federal judiciary. They also suggest that the effect of certain aspects of legal culture on the pro-rights behavior characteristic of interpretivist or anti-textualist judges is substan-tively important and different from that of political ideology.
|Translated title of the contribution||Conceptualizing and Measuring Legal Culture: Evidence from a Survey of Mexican Federal Judges Conceptualizar y medir la cultura legal|
|Article number||ePYG 1497|
|Number of pages||30|
|Journal||Politica y Gobierno|
|State||Published - Sep 2022|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Political Science and International Relations