- Measuring the Judicial Power of Regions: A Judicial Regional Authority Index
- ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops 2014, Salamanca
- Book/source title
- 42nd ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, 10 - 15 april 2014: Academic Programme: Papers
- Colchester, UK: ECPR
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Institute for Information Law (IViR)
Due to its special political nature, the attention given to high court selection processes has tended to focus either on the selection process itself and on the relationship and tensions between governments and justices on features such as ideology or policy issues at the federal level. Yet, the articulation of some jurisdictional authority among the different judicial and administrative components of a political system with some degree of decentralization has led to a number of other relevant known tensions. These tensions have been found to take place either between federal level courts and the other branches of the polity; between regional governments and federal courts; between federal courts and the other branches of regional government; or even between federal/central and regional courts. In this context, though, the role of sub-national entities on the dynamics of high court selection and behavior still lacks a systematic or unified approach. On one hand, only a few cases of federal arrangements allow for some kind of state-level participation in high court judicial selection. On the other, it is still not clear what is the relationship between these provisions of judicial federalism and the dynamics of political decentralization and regional authority. To deal with these shortcomings, this paper presents the Judicial Regional Authority Index, a composite indicator of seven dimensions of regional judicial power including the role of regions in high court appointments and decision-making, that currently covers the 1950-2006 period for a sample of cases within different models of decentralization. The results show that the indicator has enough granularity to account for subtle differences in judicial capacity both among regions, within and between countries and legal systems, and it aims at providing an empirical tool to explore the complex relationship between political-judicial dynamics and multi-level governance.
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