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The High Court on constitutional law: the 2013 statistics

16 Sep 2014

Introduction: This article presents statistical information about the High Court’s decision making for 2013 at both an institutional and individual level, with an emphasis on constitutional cases as a subset of the total. The results have been compiled using the same methodology employed in studies of earlier years. Likewise, we maintain our customary advice to readers about the inevitable limitations that must apply to the results of an empirical study of the decisions of any final court over the space of a single calendar year. In particular, the fact that constitutional cases comprise just a portion of the High Court’s annual work means that we strive to make observations leaning more towards circumspection than boldness. Nevertheless, taking stock of the cases handed down by the Court in the preceding year and the way in which the justices have, as individuals within the institution, decided their outcomes is illuminating. As ever, we are careful not to attribute greater or lesser ‘influence’ to particular individuals simply through tracking the rates of consensus, dissent and co-authorship experienced within the Court.

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