Shai Dothan, Reputation and Judicial Tactics (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Shai Dothan’s new book argues that national and international courts seek to enhance their reputations through the strategic exercise of judicial power. Courts often cannot enforce their judgments and must rely on reputational sanctions to ensure compliance. One way to do this is for courts to improve their reputation for generating compliance with their judgments. When the court’s reputation is increased, parties will be expected to comply with its judgments, and the reputational sanction on a party that fails to comply will be higher. This strategy allows national and international courts, which cannot enforce their judgments against states and executives, to improve the likelihood that their judgments will be complied with over time. This book describes the judicial tactics that courts use to shape their judgments in ways that maximize their reputational gains.


Dr. Shai Dothan is a senior researcher with the GlobalTrust Project at Tel Aviv University and an adjunct professor in the faculty of law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.