ECPR General Conference
Charles University in Prague, Prague
7 - 10 September 2016




Judicial Behavior on European Court of Human Rights

Courts
 
Human Rights
 
International
 
Jurisprudence
 
Quantitative
 
Presenter
Jurij Toplak
University of Maribor
Authors
Jurij Toplak
University of Maribor

Abstract
Research shows that various factors affect judicial decisionmaking. It was proven that decisions of judges are affected by their background, education, religion, political opinions, race, family status, and many other factors.
This paper analyzes behavior of individual European Court of Human Rights judges. Cases before the ECHR involve a conflict between government and individual freedom. On one side, there is an individual claiming that a member state violated one of the rights guaranteed by the Convention, and on the other side, there is a member state alleged to have violated that right. The Court decides whether a member state violated the individual’s right or not. Decisions of the panels are often not unanimous. Some judges tend to often defend the government and others are more often on the side of an individual. This paper analyses over 2000 court decisions and answers the question: which ECHR judges were most likely to vote for the government and which most likely to vote for the individual and his rights? It then ranks the judges from the most rights-oriented ones to those that tend to mostly vote with the governments. The paper shows that there are great differences among the ECHR judges. The paper also shows that judges coming from older Council of Europe member states tend to favor human rights while those from young democracies tend to vote more often with the governments.
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"Man is by nature a political animal" - Aristotle


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