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17 Ill. L. R. 96 (1922-1923)
General Observations on the Effects of Personal Political and Economic Influences in the Decisions of Judges

handle is hein.journals/illlr17 and id is 106 raw text is: GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE EFFECTS
An increasing interest in the study of legal philosophy and his-
tory, as well as of the legal systems of other countries, has raised
anew the perennial problem in the administration of justice--the
place and function of the judge. Two theories as to the place and
function of the judge have been more or less prevalent in the growth
of political organization. According to one theory, the judge as a
seeker after the truth, from divine and other sources, discovers the
principles on which his conclusions bearing on a case may be based
and from which a judgment follows, subject to no variance or turn-
ing. From another viewpoint, the judge gathers his conclusions from
his own concepts and conscience influenced largely as these are by
his training and experience, and by the social and economic condi-
tions surrounding him and the litigants whose controversies are to
be settled. The former of these theories, when carried to an ex-
treme, is known as the mechanical theory; the latter, as the theory
of free legal decision. The former has prevailed, particularly in
Anglo-American legal systems; the latter, in continental European
countries where the Roman civil law prevails. A short analysis of
these theories will be of service in the presentation of the problem
of the effects of personal, political, and economic influences in the
decisions of judges.
The Mechanical Theory. The mechanical theory has a long
history. It seems to be a characteristic of mankind to be guided by
judges, prophets and other seers who essay to gather from unknown,
mysterious, and semi-divine sources the principles and rules which
are supposed to direct human conduct. Thus, the judges of ancient
Greece and Rome were regarded as the mediums through which the
1. Part of an introduction to a study now in preparation relating to the
effects of personal, political and economic influences in the decisions of the
Supreme Court of the United States.

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