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Judicial impartiality in politically charged cases

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  • Raphaël Franck

    () (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Abstract

This paper examines under which institutional and political circumstances tenured public officials make partisan decisions. It analyzes the decisions of the judges from the French supreme administrative court regarding the validity of controverted mayoral elections between 1958 and 2007 and uses the vote differential between winners and losers in each election as a quasi-natural experiment to assess the judges’ impartiality. It appears that the judges became partisan after 1981, when the far-right Front National party started to gain more votes. Before 1981, judges cancelled elections only when the vote differential between the election winner and the closest challenger was small. Afterwards, the affiliation of the parties’ candidates also mattered as judges seldom cancelled elections won by communist, mainstream left-wing and mainstream right-wing politicians.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphaël Franck, 2018. "Judicial impartiality in politically charged cases," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 193-229, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:29:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10602-017-9252-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s10602-017-9252-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public officials; Electoral fraud; Elections; Judges;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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