Judging, Sooner or Later: A Study of Decision Timing in Taiwan's Constitutional Court
26 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 17, 2014
This paper presents the first empirical study of the judicial decision-making behind the marked deviation as to the number of days it takes for Taiwan’s Constitutional Court to render a merit decision (Judicial Yuan Interpretation). Analyzing the IIAS Taiwan Constitutional Court Database, which contains a myriad of data for all the merit decisions the Court made between 1994 and 2013, this paper finds, inter alia, that cases bearing a certain cues of importance can be expected to have the Court’s judgments sooner rather than later, and that decision timing in Taiwan’s Constitutional Court has more to do with strategic decision-making than with non-strategic considerations. This finding suggests that, in addition to setting its own agenda by exercising its de facto discretion on case selection, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court can, to some extent, manage its agenda via strategic decision-timing.
Keywords: decision timing, agenda setting, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court
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