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The Value of A Justice

Constitutions
Elites
Institutions
Courts
Jurisprudence
Andrew Banfield
Australian National University
Andrew Banfield
Australian National University

Abstract

In baseball, Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is a non-standardized statistic that attempts to measure a players’ total contribution to the their team. Individual WAR values are derived from both the quantity, and success rate, of on-field actions (eg batting). The higher the WAR value, the more valuable the player is seen to be to the team. Using data from 1970-2014 Supreme Court of Canada, this paper argues that a WAR-like statistic can be calculated for a judicial career. By calculating a judicial value statistic, this paper attempts to show the overall impact that a Supreme Court Justice has in any given year. Individual statistics are compared to other Justices on the bench over time and against the mean of a particular Court (eg. the Lamer Court).