Judicial behavior under austerity: an empirical analysis of behavioral changes in the portuguese constitutional court, 2002-2016

Susana Coroado, Nuno Garoupa*, Pedro C. Magalhães

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

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 stress. 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 on austerity policies exhibits a much less exceptional pattern than often argued. Constitutional review in Portugal seems to respond to institutional arrangements (i.e., those fostering a central role for ideological preferences and party loyalty) and not to specific business cycles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-311
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Law and Courts
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

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