Judicial Behavior under Austerity: An Empirical Analysis of Behavioral Changes in the Portuguese Constitutional Court, 2002-2016

30 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2017 Last revised: 9 Jun 2017

See all articles by Susana Coroado

Susana Coroado

University of Lisbon - Institute of Social Science

Nuno Garoupa

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Pedro C. Magalhães

Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon

Date Written: March 1, 2017

Abstract

The austerity policies pursued in several countries during the Eurozone crisis began to call attention to the role played by courts as relevant actors in the context of budgetary and financial policies. The case of the Portuguese Constitutional Court has often been singled out in national and international forums as one characterized by particularly intense activism in this respect. Allegedly, political conflict around austerity policies and the demand for their judicial review had fundamentally changed the role of the Portuguese Constitutional Court and the behavior of its judges. However, after examining these claims empirically, we find that, when properly assessed with scrutiny of comparable legislation in other periods, the judicial behavior of austerity policies exhibits much less exceptional patterns than often argued. Constitutional review in Portugal seems to respond to institutional arrangements and not to business cycles.

Keywords: Judicial Behavior, Constitutional Review, Austerity

Suggested Citation

Coroado, Susana and Garoupa, Nuno and Magalhães, Pedro C., Judicial Behavior under Austerity: An Empirical Analysis of Behavioral Changes in the Portuguese Constitutional Court, 2002-2016 (March 1, 2017). Journal of Law and Courts, Forthcoming; Texas A&M University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17-32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2928196 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2928196

Susana Coroado

University of Lisbon - Institute of Social Science ( email )

Av. Professor Anibal Betencourt, 9
Lisboa, 1649-004
Portugal

Nuno Garoupa (Contact Author)

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

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Pedro C. Magalhães

Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon ( email )

Av. Prof. Anibal de Bettencourt, 9
Lisbon, 1600-189
Portugal

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