The Force of EU Case Law: An Empirical Study of Precedential Constraint

iCourts Working Paper Series No. 68

In Legal Knowledge and Information Systems: JURIX 2015: The Twenty-Eighth Annual Conference (Vol. 279, pp. 71-80). IOS Press.

27 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2016

See all articles by Urska Sadl

Urska Sadl

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW); University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts

Ioannis Panagis

University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 31, 2016

Abstract

In this article we investigate whether previous case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union constrains the Court, and whether it can have a legitimatizing effect on its decision-making empirically. While previous literature on citation networks takes into account entire documents in constructing citation networks, we develop a method to build a network of individual references to individual paragraphs of judgments, together with their adjacent texts. We argue that the latter play a key role in explaining the citation and the legal relevance of cited precedents, as well as its normative force. This in turn contributes to the debate on the power of courts to change the law via case law, one of the most persistent and contested themes in the study of courts.

Keywords: Case citation networks, Paragraph to paragraph citation networks, Text annotation, Court of Justice of the European Union, Precedent, EU Citizenship

Suggested Citation

Sadl, Urska and Panagis, Ioannis, The Force of EU Case Law: An Empirical Study of Precedential Constraint (May 31, 2016). iCourts Working Paper Series No. 68; In Legal Knowledge and Information Systems: JURIX 2015: The Twenty-Eighth Annual Conference (Vol. 279, pp. 71-80). IOS Press. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2787119 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2787119

Urska Sadl (Contact Author)

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
Italy
27914233 (Phone)
27914233 (Fax)

University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts ( email )

Studiestraede 6
Copenhagen, DK-1455
Denmark

Ioannis Panagis

University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law ( email )

Studiestraede 6
Studiestrade 6
Copenhagen, DK-1455
Denmark

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
123
rank
219,375
Abstract Views
525
PlumX Metrics