Bulletin n. 2/2016
December 2016
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Jay N. Krehbiel
    The Politics of Judicial Procedures: The Role of Public Oral Hearings in the German Constitutional Court
    in American Journal of Political Science , Volume 60, Issue 4 ,  2016 ,  9901005
    Modern liberal democracies typically depend on courts with the power of constitutional review to ensure that elected officials do not breach their constitutional obligations. The efficacy of this review, however, can depend on the public observing such breaches. One resource available to many of the world's constitutional courts to influence the public's ability to do so is public oral hearings. Drawing on the comparative judicial literature on separation of powers, public awareness, and noncompliance, I develop a formal model of public oral hearings. The model provides empirical implications for when a court will hold public oral hearings and how hearings correspond to a court's willingness to rule against elected officials. An empirical analysis of hearings at the German Constitutional Court supports the model's prediction that courts use hearings as a resource to address potential noncompliance.
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