March 12, 2016
From a legal-scientific point of view it is under the conditions of rule of law exclusively and ultimately upon courts to decide on disputes. The issue of effects of court decisions is hence understood as the inner-procedural operations which - if no mutually consented agreement can be found - have to result in a legally binding and enforceable judicial decision. For a legal-sociological perception the scope of possible effects is broader. Court decisions have increasingly effects beyond the institutional and legal framework of the individual proceedings and enter general judicial, political and other public discourses. The transcending of court rooms may have mainly three causes. Court proceedings may deliberately have been launched to achieve goals which are not spelled out in the code of procedure, e. g. social rehabilitation or satisfaction or public awareness. Occasionally courts have their own interest in sending out judicial messages be it in the form of obiter dicta, be it in drawing public attention to certain cases by press releases on chosen judgments or conferences or legal scientific commenting in law journals. Finally, the media play a crucial role selecting certain judicial matters and cases and translating them into discourses on justice and fairness in the society. In sum, courts and judges have increasingly engaged in contributing to public deliberation on values and norms and to general discourses.