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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/29914

Title: How Courts Decide Federalism Disputes: Legal Merit, Attitudinal Effects and Strategic Considerations in the Jurisprudence of the Belgian Constitutional Court
Authors: Patricia Popelier
Bielen, Samantha
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 49(4), p. 587-616
Abstract: An urgent question in contemporary federal theory is how institutions impact upon the centralization grade of multi-tiered systems.This article focuses on constitutional courts as one of such institutions. It constructs a classification for measuring a court’s position in federalism disputes and tests hypotheses about what determines variation across decisions within one court. The case study is Belgium, as a model of contemporary fragmenting systems.We find that if the defending party is the federal government, the probability of a centralist outcome increases compared to when a substate government is the defendant, and vice versa. Evidence suggests that legal merit plays a role to this effect.We further find that each state reform decreases the probability of a centralist outcome. This appears to be a consequence of strategic considerations.We finally find suggestive evidence that the organization of the court does not fully succeed in playing down judges’ ideological preferences.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/29914
DOI: 10.1093/publius/pjy033
ISSN: 0048-5950
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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