Asymmetric Cross-Citations in Private Law: An Empirical Study of 28 Supreme Courts in the EU

Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law 28 (2021), 498–534

EUI Department of Law Research Paper No. 2021/4

47 Pages Posted: 6 May 2021 Last revised: 14 Feb 2022

See all articles by Sabrina D'Andrea

Sabrina D'Andrea

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Nikita Divissenko

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Maria Fanou

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Anna Krisztián

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Jaka Kukavica

European University Institute

Nastazja Potocka-Sionek

European University Institute

Mathias Siems

European University Institute (EUI); University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: March 9, 2021

Abstract

Recent years have seen a growing volume of research on citations between courts from different countries. This article fills a gap in the current literature by presenting and analysing cross-citations between the highest domestic courts responsible for matters of private law in the EU from 2000 to 2018. It addresses two main questions: first, to what extent do judges cite foreign case law in their decisions? Second, what may explain the varying levels of engagement of supreme courts with foreign case law? Our findings offer a mixed result as to the nature and frequency of such cross-citations. Overall, we identify 2,984 cross-citations; yet, only in few instances do we find a reciprocal relationship between the supreme courts of two countries, while more generally an asymmetric picture emerges. The article also discusses whether problems with the ease of access to court decisions may partly be responsible for limitations in the use of cross-citations.

Keywords: Cross-citations, supreme courts in the EU, judicial reasoning, legal families, access to court decisions

JEL Classification: K00, K15, K40

Suggested Citation

D'Andrea, Sabrina and Divissenko, Nikita and Fanou, Maria and Krisztián, Anna and Kukavica, Jaka and Potocka-Sionek, Nastazja and Siems, Mathias, Asymmetric Cross-Citations in Private Law: An Empirical Study of 28 Supreme Courts in the EU (March 9, 2021). Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law 28 (2021), 498–534, EUI Department of Law Research Paper No. 2021/4, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3837193 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3837193

Sabrina D'Andrea

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

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
ITALY

Nikita Divissenko

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

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
ITALY

Maria Fanou

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

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
ITALY

Anna Krisztián

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

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
ITALY

Jaka Kukavica

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Salviati
Via Bolognese 156
Firenze, Toscana 50139
Italy

Nastazja Potocka-Sionek

European University Institute ( email )

Mathias Siems (Contact Author)

European University Institute (EUI) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
Firenze, 50139
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.eui.eu/siems

University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research ( email )

Top Floor, Judge Business School Building
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/people/research-associates/mathias-m-siems/

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://ecgi.global/users/mathias-siems

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