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

Related Research Tabs

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’s Accountability and Participation Research Programme. She is the coordinator of the German team within the PROBRAL project “The Institutional Presidency 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. In her doctoral thesis she investigated the influence of constitutional courts on democratic elections in Madagascar and Senegal. Currently, she works in the DFG-funded project “The (In)stability of Presidential Term Limits in Africa and Latin America: Assessing the Impact of Tenure-Rule Reforms on the Political Regime.”

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

Charlotte Heyl

Senegal (1970-2016): presidential term limit reforms never come alone

in: Alexander Baturo / Robert Elgie (eds.), The politics of presidential term limits, Oxford University Press, 2019, 339-361

Charlotte Heyl

The judiciary and the rule of law in Africa

in: Oxford University Press (ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia , Oxford University Press, 2019

Mariana Llanos / Leany Lemos

Preferências Presidenciais? As indicações para o Supremo Tribunal Federal no Brasil Democrático

in: Marjorie Corrêa Marona / Andrés del Río (eds.), Justiça no Brasil: às margens da democracia, Belo Horizonte: Arraes Editores, 2018, 275-308

John M. Carey / Janvier Corrales / Mariana Llanos / Leiv Marsteintredet / Aníbal Pérez-Liñán

The threat of impeachment can push presidents out the door. But there’s a catch.

Washington Post, Monkey Cage, 2018