Judicial Dissent, Ideology and Three Conceptions of Law

This paper will demonstrate how and why different legal systems, national and transnational, limit judicial dissent in order to, inter alia, prevent the expression of judicial ideology through the requirement of unanimous, sometimes even anonymous judicial decisions. We will we argue that a normative choice in favor of concealing judicial ideology is not just a political, institutional choice, it is also informed by a deeper, underlying conceptual understanding of law. In conclusion, it will be, hence, suggested that on the basis of the theoretical and practical attitudes toward dissenting opinions and the judicial ideology that they conceal or reveal three different conceptions of law can be identified: the objectivist, the discursive and the subjectivist conception.