Can International Courts Enhance Domestic Judicial Review? Separation of Powers and the European Court of Justice

PluriCourts Lunch Seminar with Jay Krehbiel.


How courts ensure the effcacy of their decisions poses one of the central challenges to the quality of modern liberal democracy. In this article, we consider how the ability of domestic courts to engage with their international counterparts through preliminary reference procedures can further this goal. Arguing that domestic courts use preliminary reference procedures to affect the probability their governments comply with adverse judicial decisions, we construct a
formal model of the reference procedure and test a series of empirical implications with a novel dataset of domestic court cases involving the European Union's preliminary reference procedure. We find that courts are more likely to refer cases as the risk of noncompliance increases and that this relationship is conditioned by the level of public trust in the Court of Justice of the European Union and the position of a court in the domestic judicial hierarchy.


PluriCourts Lunch Seminars are a forum for pluridisciplinary discussion of core issues relating to international courts and tribunals. PluriCourts scholars or invited speakers present new and ongoing research or comment on current questions. The seminars are open to everyone.

Tags: CJEU
Published July 4, 2019 2:42 PM - Last modified Dec. 9, 2019 9:13 AM