The Old Bailey

Courts and the Making of Public Policy

Programme Synopsis

In the last fifty years, courts have emerged as key participants in the public policymaking process, exercising discretion to make decisions which have far-reaching consequences in terms of the distribution of benefits and burdens within society.

This programme provides a critical assessment of the role of courts in the public policymaking process, assessing their level of influence and scrutinizing the efficacy and legitimacy of their involvement.

The programme considers a range of issues within this context, including

  • the relationship between courts, legislatures, and executives
  • how judicial policymaking fits within a democratic society
  • what training and qualifications judges have for policy decisions
  • how suitable the judicial forum is for handling policy choices.