US president Donald Trump with his nominee for the supreme court, Brett Kavanaugh, last July. In the postwar decades, judges around the world looked to the US supreme court for inspiration. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters

Judges, unlike politicians, don’t owe their positions to popular endorsement. Still, like politicians, they tend to reflect how their societies think.(...)

US Judge Brett Kavanaugh speaks after being nominated by US president Donald Trump to the supreme court in the East Room of the White House on Monday. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

There are few more damning illustrations of how political divisions are degrading American public life than the circus that appointments to the suprem(...)

Since the retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor in 2006, Anthony Kennedy has been the decisive “swing” vote on the nine-judge US supreme court. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Unlike in Ireland, where a simple majority of votes in a referendum is enough to change Bunreacht na hÉireann, the United States constitution is extre(...)

Men of the Week: members of Waterford City and County Council who stood for a group photograph to highlight their support for a No vote in the referendum. Photograph:  Darren Skelton/Waterford News & Star.

The dining hall of the Honourable Society of King’s Inns is a magnificent room wherein baby barristers are granted the privilege of dining with eminen(...)

 William Shakespeare: in certain circles, the Bard of Avon’s impending 400th will provoke conflict

The centenary of the Rising will not be the only anniversary to provoke contention this coming April. In 1916, Easter Week coincided with the tercente(...)

Dutch court: Women overtook men on the Dutch bench in 2008, and since then the imbalance has become more and more pronounced.     Photograph: Robin van Lonkhuijsen/AFP/Getty Images

Court authorities in the Netherlands are considering the extraordinary step of using positive discrimination to help more male lawyers become judges (...)