The politeness of judges: American and English judicial behaviour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study takes a look at politeness phenomena in American and English judicial opinions. The initial position, based on previous research of written texts, points to an extensive use of politeness phenomena even where there is disagreement. However, the material investigated shows that American and English judicial verbal behaviour differs considerably, especially among American appellate judges who do not often mitigate their criticism of colleagues on the same bench and judges in lower courts with whom they disagree.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-85
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2001


  • Argument
  • English vs. American usage
  • Legal language
  • Mitigation
  • Politeness
  • Pragmatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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