Antoine Garapon

Judging Well Essay on Judicial Ritual Publication date : March 1, 1997

Can judges avoid staging trials in order to judge well ? Antoine Garapon answers this question by comparing the French and American judiciary systems, by analyzing the intrusion of medias during trials, and by drawing examples taken from works by Freud and Kafka. If, abstractly speaking, the philosophy of law is a search for truth through an ideal an a set of rules, this book shows that the quest for a "good judgement" obliges judges to concretely immerse themselves in the experience of judging. Thus, a "pure" judgement does not exist, because, by daily experimenting evil and cruelty, as well as the resistence of facts, the perishable character of politics, the fragility of evidence and the foreclusion of truth, justice grapples with raw human material.

Former judge for children, Antoine Garapon heads the French Institute of Advanced Studies on Justice. In 1996, he published Le Gardien des Promesses, which was sold in Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Latin America.