ancilla iuris

The Room at the Top: Separate Opinions in the Grand Chambers of the ECHR (1998‐2006)

A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the separate opinions in the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (n=106, from November 1998 until September 2006) reveals the following patterns: a) judges elected in respect of the new member States of Central and Eastern Europe deliver significantly less separate opinions than judges elected in respect of the old member States; b) national bias in the sense that the judges take a more benevolent position when their home country is the respondent State does in fact occur, and more so among ad hoc judges than among elected judges; and c) the lawyer‐statesmanʹs perspective seems to prevail in the majority judgment while human rights activism finds an outlet in separate opinions. Interviews with (19) judges enrich these data with insights into the social and institutional context of judicial decision making in the Grand Chamber.

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Published 13.06.2008
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