- Speaking of Rights
- The Influence of Law and Courts on the Making of Family Migration Policies in Germany
- Law & Policy
- Volume | Issue number
- 38 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The impact of the judiciary on immigration policies has been simultaneously overestimated and underestimated. Migration scholars broadly assume that courts have forced liberal states to admit unwanted migration. Based on an analysis of family migration policy making in the Federal Republic of Germany (1975-90), I show that the direct policy impact of court rulings was limited, as courts were reticent to impinge upon democratic sovereignty. However, the
indirect impact of the courts was substantial. Political actors ampliﬁed the implications of rulings by interpreting the jurisprudence selectively and expansively. Thus, they turned speaking of rights into a powerful political resource.
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