Between 2001 and 2005, ‘Judge Ruth Herz’ appeared in a popular German daytime reality television court show, Das Jugendgericht (The Youth Court). German reality television court shows, of which there are several (Machura 2009), draw heavily on a US format. A key dimension of this format, and central to its reality effect, is the use of real judges to perform the role of judge in the show (Christie 1999; Kleinhans and Morris 2004; Kohm, 2006; Lorenzo-Dus 2008). The best known US example is Judge Judy, in which the title role is performed by Judith Sheindlin, an ex-New York family court judge. The Youth Court follows this model
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