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Are judges harsher with repeated offenders? Evidence from the European Court of Human Rights

Author

Listed:
  • Eric Langlais

    () (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Alessandro Melcarne

    () (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Giovanni Battista Ramello

Abstract

This work takes profit from a peculiar aspect of International adjudication, namely the award of monetary compensation to victims of breach of International commitments. In particular, the present analysis focuses on the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the mechanism behind the award of monetary redress in terms of just satisfaction to individual victims injured by the breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Based on the empirical analysis conducted on an innovative dataset concerning states’ performance before the ECtHR, the present paper argues that awarding just satisfaction tends to move away from mere compensation of injured victims toward a more complex system. Following the ideal goal of inducing effective compliance with the ECHR, and reasonably struggling for the internalization of the externalities due to the breach, judges tend to reprimand respondent states for their recalcitrant behaviour, being not able to detect ex-ante the optimal level of deterrence by inflicting increasing fines. This would suggest that the Court adjusts its behaviour according to the performance of a member state in terms of respect of the law.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Langlais & Alessandro Melcarne & Giovanni Battista Ramello, 2017. "Are judges harsher with repeated offenders? Evidence from the European Court of Human Rights," Post-Print hal-01549905, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01549905
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01549905
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