An Empirical Analysis of Judicial Transformation in Turkey

36 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2016 Last revised: 2 Sep 2016

See all articles by Ozan O. Varol

Ozan O. Varol

Lewis & Clark Law School

Lucia Dalla Pellegrina

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS)

Nuno Garoupa

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Date Written: March 11, 2016

Abstract

Constitutional amendments in September 2010 restructured the Turkish Constitutional Court (TCC) by imposing term limits, adding six additional seats to the Court, and bolstering the role of the political branches in the appointments process. Numerous commentators argued that the structural reforms amounted to court packing, influenced court decisions in substantive ways, and undermined the TCC's ability to serve as an effective check on the political branches. But aside from speculation and normative analyses of isolated TCC decisions, there has been no systematic academic study on the consequences of the reforms.

In this Article, we aim to fill this scholarly gap. By making use of an original dataset of 200 cases randomly chosen for the period 2007-2014, we test the extent to which these reforms have changed judicial behavior. Our findings show a significant break in 2010 in the ideological position of the Court and detect a conservative ideological shift following the reforms that is increasing in magnitude with time. This shift, however, has not yet affected judicial outcomes in a statistically significant manner. We explain these results and discuss their implications.

Keywords: Turkey, Turkish Constitutional Court, Judicial Review, Constitutional Review, Constitutional Court, Court Packing

Suggested Citation

Varol, Ozan O. and Dalla Pellegrina, Lucia and Garoupa, Nuno, An Empirical Analysis of Judicial Transformation in Turkey (March 11, 2016). American Journal of Comparative Law, Forthcoming; Texas A&M University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2746559

Ozan O. Varol (Contact Author)

Lewis & Clark Law School ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ozanvarol.com

Lucia Dalla Pellegrina

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Nuno Garoupa

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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