Are Advocates General Political? Policy Preferences of EU Member State Governments and the Voting Behavior of Members of the European Court of Justice

Review of Law & Economics, Vol. 14, Issue 1, 2018

42 Pages Posted: 12 May 2016 Last revised: 3 Apr 2018

Date Written: February 20, 2017

Abstract

The question whether political preferences of EU Member States play a role in the decision making of the members of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has so far gone largely unanswered in the literature. This paper formally tests the hypothesis that the political preferences of Member State governments are reflected in the decisions of the Advocates General, who are judge-like members of the ECJ. The empirical analysis is motivated by a novel model of the interaction between the Advocate General and the judicial panel. It uses a newly assembled dataset combining information on agreements and disagreements between the opinions issued by the Advocates General and the ensuing judgments of the ECJ in preliminary ruling proceedings with information on political preferences of Member State governments obtained from party manifesto data. I find that the votes of Advocates General in fact reflect the political preferences of the appointing governments vis-a-vis European integration.

Keywords: Judge Behavior, European Court of Justice, Roll Call Model

JEL Classification: K40

Suggested Citation

Frankenreiter, Jens, Are Advocates General Political? Policy Preferences of EU Member State Governments and the Voting Behavior of Members of the European Court of Justice (February 20, 2017). Review of Law & Economics, Vol. 14, Issue 1, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2778803 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2778803

Jens Frankenreiter (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

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