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Title: Between Strict Legalism and Judicial Activism
Authors: Awawda, Osayd
Keywords: Legalism; Judicial Activism; Dixon
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: IUP Publications
Citation: Awawda, Osayd, Between Strict Legalism and Judicial Activism, IUP Journal of International Relations; Vol. 11, Iss. 1, (2021)
Abstract: Between Strict Legalism and Judicial Activism Osayd Awawda* In 1915, the Hon Sir Owen Dixon was sworn in as Chief Justice of Australia. On that occasion, he said: "It may be that the court is thought to be excessively legalistic. I should be sorry to think that it is anything else. There is no safer guide to judicial decisions in great conflicts than a strict and complete legalism." In response, this paper argues that judges do not adhere to Hon Sir Dixon's view that strict legalism is the safest guide for judges. The paper avers that judicial activism is currently the norm and there is no room for complete legalism in the modern state's judiciary. The paper explains the reasons behind the current drift from Hon Sir Dixon's view. Then, it demonstrates the current situation of judicial activism as the norm in the judicial practice and lastly justifies the absence of a place for complete legalism in the modern state's judiciary.
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