Mariana Llanos / Charlotte Heyl / Viola Lucas / Alexander Stroh / Cordula Tibi Weber

Ousted from the Bench? Judicial Departures in Consolidating Democracies

GIGA Working Paper, No. 300, April 2017

This paper deals with judicial departures in consolidating democracies. It investigates to what extent and under what conditions judges in those contexts are not able to decide on their departures themselves but are rather forced to leave due to pressure from the elected branches. We undertook a cross‐regional study of individual judicial departures in six consolidating democracies with elected presidents, three of them located in Latin America (Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay) and three in sub‐Saharan Africa (Benin, Madagascar, and Senegal). We developed a unique data set containing information on 143 high‐court judges in office since democratisation. We classified judicial departures as due and undue, and using a survival model we estimated the impact of institutional, political, personal, and contextual factors. The results indicate that undue judicial departures occur regardless of the region, but are most probable under the rule of politically powerful executives, and where there are lower levels of democracy and development.

Related Research at the GIGA

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GIGA Authors

Dr. Mariana Llanos

Lead Research Fellow
Head of RP 1

Dr. Mariana Llanos is a lead research fellow at the GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies and head of GIGA Research Programme 1 “Accountability and Participation.” Her research focuses on comparative political institutions, particularly presidentialism, presidential studies, and judicial politics in Latin America.

Dr. Charlotte Heyl

Research Fellow
Speaker Research Team

Dr. Charlotte Heyl is a research fellow at the GIGA Institute of African Affairs. She is also spokesperson for the GIGA Research Team “Democratic Institutions”. Her research focuses on democratisation, elections, judicial politics, and presidentialism in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Viola Lucas

Associate

Dr. Viola Lucas is an economist and an associate at the GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Stroh is a political scientist, an assistant professor of African politics and development policy at the University of Bayreuth, and an associate at the GIGA Institute of African Affairs.

Cordula Tibi Weber

Research Fellow / Doctoral Student

Cordula Tibi Weber is a political scientist and a research fellow at the GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies.

Recent Publications by the Authors

Magna Inácio / Mariana Llanos

Presidential Pathways and Profiles

in: Ruby B. Andeweg / Robert Elgie / Ludger Helms / Juliet Kaarb / Ferdinand Muller-Rommel (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Political Executives, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming July 2020

Charlotte Heyl / Mariana Llanos

Presidential Term Limits in Africa and Latin America: Contested but Resilient

GIGA Focus Global, 01/2020

Charlotte Heyl

Book review: Electoral Politics in Africa since 1990. Continuity in Change

Africa Spectrum, online first, 2019

Mariana Llanos / Jayane Maia

Argentina 2019: Broken Economy, Strengthened Democracy

GIGA Focus Latin America, 06/2019

Mariana Llanos

The politics of presidential term limits in Argentina

in: Alexander Baturo / Robert Elgie (eds.), The politics of presidential term limits, Oxford University Press, 2019, 473-494