Washington Law Review


Judge Ginsburg compares the styles of appellate opinion writing in United States courts and in those of Great Britain and the civil law countries. She describes as a "middle way" the United States practice of opinions for the court, sometimes accompanied by separate concurrences and dissents. This practice, she observes, contrasts with the British tradition of seriatim opinions by each member of the bench, and with the single, anonymous judgment characteristic of civil law systems. While noting that the Anglo-United States practice of writing separately has gained adherents in the civil law world, she concludes that judges in the United States might profitably consider the styles of jurists abroad and exercise greater restraint before writing separately.

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