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Judicial ideology in economic cases: Evidence from the General Court of the European Union

Wessel Wijtvliet and Arthur Dyevre
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Wessel Wijtvliet: Centre for Empirical Jurisprudence, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

European Union Politics, 2021, vol. 22, issue 1, 25-45

Abstract: We contribute new empirical evidence on the influence of ideology on the behaviour of European Union judges. As votes and other common proxies for judicial preferences are unavailable, we ask 46 competition law experts to rate the ideology of 51 judges who have served on the General Court of the European Union. The average ratings are then used to explain the outcome of competition and state aid cases (N = 655). We find that, consistent with research on United States courts, the pro-business score of the panel median is a significant predictor of General Court decisions in competition and state aid cases. We find less conclusive evidence for the influence of Europhilia. While showing that attitudes towards private business may matter more than Europhilia in economic cases, our analysis also suggests that expert ratings constitute a viable and promising alternative in settings where other measurement methods are unavailable.

Keywords: Attitudinal model, European Court of Justice; General Court; judicial behaviour (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/1465116520971343

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