Economics at your fingertips  

Judicial Independence in the EU – A Puzzle

Jerg Gutmann () and Stefan Voigt ()

No 4, ILE Working Paper Series from University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics

Abstract: Based on data from the EU Justice Scoreboard, we identify a puzzle: National levels of judicial independence (as perceived by the citizens of EU member states) are negatively associated with the presence of formal legislation usually considered as conducive to judicial independence. We try to resolve this puzzle based on political economy explanations and specificities of legal systems, but to no avail. We then ask whether cultural traits can help to put together the puzzle. And indeed, countries with high levels of generalized trust (and to a lesser extent individualistic countries) exhibit increased levels of de facto judicial independence and, at the same time, reduced levels of de jure judicial independence. The combination of these two effects can explain why judicial reforms that should be conducive to an independent judiciary may seem to have adverse consequences. We conclude that cultural traits are of fundamental importance for the quality of formal institutions, even in societies as highly developed as the EU member states.

Keywords: judicial independence; EU Justice Scoreboard; informal institutions; culture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H11 K40 O40 P51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Judicial independence in the EU: a puzzle (2020) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in ILE Working Paper Series from University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics ().

Page updated 2020-11-21
Handle: RePEc:zbw:ilewps:4