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Judicial Careers in Australia, Canada and Germany Compared

Comparative Politics
Elites
Federalism
Institutions
Political Methodology
Political Sociology
Jurisprudence
Sebastian Jäckle
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Sebastian Jäckle
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Matthew Kerby
Australian National University
Andrew Banfield
Australian National University

Abstract

Our paper compares the careers of High and Supreme Court judges from the two Westminster systems Canada and Australia with career patterns of Federal Constitutional Court judges in Germany. In all three countries, although to a somewhat different extent, these judges cannot only be seen as judicial, but also as political elites. This raises questions like whether there are different paths into these positions depending on party affiliation, or which personal traits but also which peculiarities of the respective political systems are adjuvant which obstructive for becoming a judge at one of the highest courts. We apply sequence analysis to a dataset consisting of all High Court, Supreme Court and Federal Constitutional Court Judges since 1945 which contains yearly coded biographic information. Particularly the ability to analyze biographies with respect to their different partitions, while keeping the holistic view of the complete sequence, is a great asset of this approach.