In this Article, Professor Shaman, examines the doctrine of judicial immunity in the civil and criminal spheres. After highlighting the history of the doctrine and its application in our current legal system, the author concludes that to be effective judicial immunity need not be absolute. The law distinguishes between criminal and noncriminal conduct in its application of judicial immunity. Though there are strong policy reasons for judicial immunity, such as maintaining an independent judiciary and protecting judges from harassment by disgruntled litigants, these policy goals do not outweigh the importance of enforcing the criminal law. With regard to civil liability, judges enjoy absolute immunity even whey commit wrongs intentionally or maliciously. The author argues that absolute immunity from civil immunity is a debatable practice and the policy goals mentioned above can be just as adequately protected with a form of qualified immunity.
Jeffrey M. Shaman,
Judicial Immunity from Civil and Criminal Liability,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol27/iss1/2