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Judicialisation as a Result of Socio-Economic Factors and/or Judicial Dialogue

European Union
Courts
Europeanisation through Law
Judicialisation
Empirical
Angelina Atanasova
University of Leuven
Angelina Atanasova
University of Leuven

Abstract

This research paper, based on a PhD project, aims to explore the question in what circumstances social policy domains are more likely to become object of judicialization from the perspective of judicial dialogue, and the interactions of actors involved in the process of litigation (the Court of Justice of the European Union, domestic courts and non-state actors). Judicialization of two domains - gender equality and disability - have been looked at, while comparing the legal activity in both fields, under the preliminary ruling procedure pertain to Art. 267 in the period 1961 - 2016. It correlates the identified cases in both domains with panel data of socio-economic factors, such as social security spending; and data on overall rates of litigation, civil society activity, taken as proxies for explanatory factors as driving litigation at domestic level, identified in secondary literature of judicialization. In addition, network analysis is applied to distinguish the key cases according to the citation network of the CJEU in both domains, which highlights the legal activity of only a handful of EU Member States contributing to the judicialization of the researched policy domains. Explanations for having the same active players in both fields are looked for not only in the socio-economic data but also in the most often used “access points” (legal provisions under which a claim was brought) for litigants as well as into the EU Member States trends to cultivate a judicial dialogue with the CJEU.