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Judicial Independence and Party Politics in the Kelsenian Constitutional Courts: The Case of Portugal

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Abstract:

In this article we test to what extent Kelsenian-type constitutional judges are independent from political parties by studying the Portuguese constitutional court. The results yield three main conclusions. First, constitutional judges in Portugal are quite sensitive to their political affiliations and their political party's presence in government when voting. Second, peer pressure is very relevant. Third, the 1997 reform enacted to increase judicial independence has had no robust statistically significant effect.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-1461.2009.01147.x

Affiliations: 1: Università di Bologna 2: UIUC College of Law, IMDEA (Madrid) and CEPR (London)

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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