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Do Governments Sway European Court of Justice Decision-making?: Evidence from Government Court Briefs

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  • Clifford J. Carrubba

    (Department of Political Science, Emory University)

  • Matthew Gabel

    ()
    (Department of Political Science, University of Kentucky)

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    Abstract

    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is commonly described as a powerful international force for legal integration. Indeed, past studies indicate that the ECJ has developed a supranational legal order that trumps national law in a broad range of economic policy areas. But this depiction of an autonomous Court driving European integration beyond the desires of the member-states is dubious. We would expect the Court, whose existence depends on an international treaty and whose authority depends on national enforcement, to have strong incentives to decide cases with an eye to concerns of national governments. We argue that past studies -- which were based on a small number of case studies -- cannot demonstrate whether the Court is or is not sensitive to member-state interests. Based on novel dataset of all ECJ decisions over three years, we develop an empirical test of member-state influence on ECJ decisions and demonstrate that the Court does temper its decisions to accommodate member-state concerns.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations in its series Working Papers with number 2005-06.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ifr:wpaper:2005-06

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    References

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    1. J.H.H. Weiler, 1993. "Journey to an Unknown Destination: A Retrospective and Prospective of the European Court of Justice in the Arena of Political Integration," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 417-446, December.
    2. Mattli, Walter & Slaughter, Anne-Marie, 1995. "Law and politics in the European Union: a reply to Garrett," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(01), pages 183-190, December.
    3. Burley, Anne-Marie & Mattli, Walter, 1993. "Europe Before the Court: A Political Theory of Legal Integration," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 41-76, December.
    4. Thiess Buettner & David E. Wildasin, 2002. "The Dynamics of Municipal Fiscal Adjustment," CESifo Working Paper Series 649, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Tsebelis, George & Garrett, Geoffrey, 2001. "The Institutional Foundations of Intergovernmentalism and Supranationalism in the European Union," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(02), pages 357-390, March.
    6. William H. Hoyt & J. William Harden, 2005. "MSA Location and the Impact of State Taxes on Employment and Population: A Comparison of Border and Interior MSA's," Working Papers 2005-01, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    7. Tallberg, Jonas, 2002. "Paths to Compliance: Enforcement, Management, and the European Union," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 609-643, June.
    8. Clifford J. Carrubba & Matthew Gabel & Lacey Murrah & Ryan Clough & Elizabeth Montgomery & Rebecca Schambach, 2005. "National Party Politics and Supranational Politics in the European Union: New Evidence from the European Parliament," Working Papers 2005-04, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    9. Pollack, Mark A., 1997. "Delegation, agency, and agenda setting in the European Community," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(01), pages 99-134, December.
    10. Mattli, Walter & Slaughter, Anne-Marie, 1998. "Revisiting the European Court of Justice," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(01), pages 177-209, December.
    11. Matthew Gabel & Kenneth Scheve, 2005. "Estimating the Effect of Elite Communications on Public Opinion Using Instrumental Variables," Working Papers 2005-02, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hikaru Ogawa & David E. Wildasin, 2007. "Think Locally, Act Locally: Spillovers, Spillbacks, and Efficient Decentralized Policymaking," CESifo Working Paper Series 2142, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. David Wildasin, 2007. "Pre-Emption: Federal Statutory Intervention in State Taxation," Working Papers 2007-05, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    3. Robin Boadway & Jean-Francois Tremblay, 2005. "A Theory of Vertical Fiscal Imbalance," Working Papers 2006-04, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    4. Christos Kotsogiannis & Robert Schwager, 2006. "Fiscal Equalization and Yardstick Competition," Working Papers 2006-15, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    5. Thiess Buettner & David E. Wildasin, 2002. "The Dynamics of Municipal Fiscal Adjustment," CESifo Working Paper Series 649, CESifo Group Munich.

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