Judging Under Political Constraint: The Ecuadorean Case (2008-2015)

28 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2016 Last revised: 5 Jul 2016

Jose Luis Castro-Montero

Tilburg University; Tilburg University, Tilburg Law School, Research Group for Methodology of Law and Legal Research, Students

Gijs van Dijck

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 29, 2016

Abstract

This paper offers the results of a systematical analysis of the politicization of the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court (CC) during the so-called “Citizen Revolution.” Based on empirical evidence, this paper shows the CC’s proclivity to rule in favor of political actors, the majority of whom have frequently supported presidential interests. A quantitative analysis is used to examine all 103 constitutional review cases (acción pública de inconstitucionalidad o control de constitucionalidad abstracto in Spanish) in the 2008-2015 period. The results reveal that laws are more likely to be struck down by CC justices if a policital actor claims unconstitutionality than when a non-political party claims unconstitutionality. Moreover, media coverage is also found to be a good predictor of judicial decision-making in CC cases. The findings suggest that Ecuadorean constitutional review can be politically biased, and that legislators may need to consider such bias when designing a review procedure.

Keywords: Judicial independence, judicial decision-making, constitutional court, constitutional review, Ecuador

Suggested Citation

Castro-Montero, Jose Luis and van Dijck, Gijs, Judging Under Political Constraint: The Ecuadorean Case (2008-2015) (February 29, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2740090 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2740090

Jose Luis Castro Montero (Contact Author)

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg University, Tilburg Law School, Research Group for Methodology of Law and Legal Research, Students ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Gijs Van Dijck

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/gijs.vandijck

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