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Explaining constitutional change: The case of judicial independence

Bernd Hayo and Stefan Voigt ()

International Review of Law and Economics, 2016, vol. 48, issue C, 1-13

Abstract: This paper studies the factors driving changes in constitutionally entrenched judicial independence (JI). Our indicator of constitutionally safeguarded JI is derived by applying a factor analysis utilizing 29 variables. Variations in JI are identified based on changes in the constitutions of as many as 100 countries that occurred between 1950 and 2005. Two theoretical perspectives are developed—the democratic competition view and the commitment view—and various hypotheses are suggested for explaining changes in JI. We find strong evidence that changes in political participation and competition as well as the characteristics of individual leaders—such as how they acquired or lost power—play an important role in explaining changes in constitutionally safeguarded JI. However, we find no clear-cut evidence supporting one theoretical perspective over the other.

Keywords: Judicial independence; Constitutional change; Endogenous constitutions; Relevance of leaders (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H11 K10 P48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Related works:
Working Paper: Explaining Constitutional Change: The Case of Judicial Independence (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Explaining Constitutional Change: The Case of Judicial Independence (2012) Downloads
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