Mapping Constitutionally Safeguarded Judicial Independence — A Global Survey

34 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2010  

Bernd Hayo

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics

Stefan Voigt

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: December 13, 2010

Abstract

De jure judicial independence (JI) is the single most important predictor of de facto JI. In this paper, we describe under what conditions countries are likely to include JI in their constitutions. We describe and analyze both their original choice in this regard as well as change over time using a newly constructed dataset comprised of 100 countries and covering the years between 1950 and 2005. Three results stand out. First, legal origins do have an impact on the likelihood of explicitly anchoring JI in the constitution: countries belonging to the common law tradition are less likely to implement JI in their constitutions (and those with a socialist tradition are more likely to do so). Correspondingly, former British colonies are less likely to address JI explicitly as are states in the Caribbean. Second, religion has a significant impact on whether JI is included in the constitution: societies experiencing a high level of religious fractionalization are not only less likely to anchor JI in their constitutions, but are also less likely to change their constitutions in that direction later on. Finally, Muslim countries are more likely to include mention of JI, whereas Protestant countries are less likely to do so. Third, the distribution of resources within societies has important — and largely unexpected — effects: a higher percentage of family farms, a wider distribution of education, and a higher percentage of urban dwellers are all connected with a lower likelihood of JI being mentioned in the constitution.

Keywords: Judicial Independence, Constitutional Choice, Constitutional Change

JEL Classification: K10, N40

Suggested Citation

Hayo, Bernd and Voigt, Stefan, Mapping Constitutionally Safeguarded Judicial Independence — A Global Survey (December 13, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1724696 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1724696

Bernd Hayo

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 24
Marburg, D-35032
Germany
++49(0)6421-28-23091 (Phone)
++49(0)6421-28-23193 (Fax)

Stefan Voigt (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany
+49-40-428385782 (Phone)
+49-40-428386794 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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