Author ORCID Identifier

Tonja Jacobi 0000-0002-5200-5765

Patrick Leslie 0000-0002-9218-8981

Document Type


Publication Date



Comparative courts, Oral argument, Apex courts, Interruptions, Gender and judging, Institutional design


Examining oral argument in the Australian High Court and comparing to the U.S. Supreme Court, this article shows that institutional design drives judicial interruptive behavior. Many of the same individual- and case-level factors predict oral argument behavior. Notably, despite orthodoxy of the High Court as “apolitical,” ideology strongly predicts interruptions, just as in the United States. Yet, important divergent institutional design features between the two apex courts translate into meaningful behavioral differences, with the greater power of the Chief Justice resulting in differences in interruptions. Finally, gender effects are lower and only identifiable with new methodological techniques we develop and apply.

First Page


Publication Title

Journal of Law and Courts


© The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Law and Courts Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.