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Conventional understandings of the judicial role emphasise impersonality, leaving little space for humour. However, the courtroom is a workplace where different professions come together, each highly dependent on the other. Solicitors, barristers and police prosecutors (in lower courts) provide information or undertake tasks necessary for judicial decision-making. Although judicial officers in both higher and lower courts have considerable formal legal authority, their direct supervisory power over the out-of-court work of these other professionals is limited. This observational study of Australian lower courts finds that one strategy magistrates adopt to bridge this gap is humour. A magistrate’s practical use of humour can help judicial officers meet organisational challenges such as time management, while the normative use of humour delineates inter-professional roles and obligations.
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- Judicial Humour and Inter-Professional Relations in the Courtroom
Sharyn Roach Anleu
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