Has the Court changed, or have the cases? The deservingness of litigants as an element in Court of Justice citizenship adjudication

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In recent cases concerning mobile citizens and access to social assistance the Court has sided with Member States against the litigating citizens. Given that in early cases it sided with the litigants, this has created the impression of a change in judicial perspective. This article looks at the most discussed sub-set of cases, and argues that a more plausible explanation lies in the changing characteristics of the litigants themselves–recent claims for social assistance are based on less meritorious facts. This raises a broader issue about research into judicial decisions: Trends in outcomes cannot be analysed without taking account of possible trends in inputs. These may vary due to changes in skills or strategies at national courts or authorities, or social changes leading to different litigant characteristics. Unless accounted for, claims that a court is changing its approach will be unreliable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1442-1460
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Volume25
Issue number10
Early online date21 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2018

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Bibliographical note

Special Issue: Free movement and non-discrimination in an unequal Union

Keywords

  • European Court of Justice
  • judicial independence
  • judicial responsiveness
  • social assistance
  • union citizenship

Cite this

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Has the Court changed, or have the cases? The deservingness of litigants as an element in Court of Justice citizenship adjudication. / Davies, Gareth.

In: Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 25, No. 10, 03.10.2018, p. 1442-1460.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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