When one comes before a court, how can the chances of success be assessed? In this video, CHRISTOPH ENGEL considers the impact of the makeup of the German Constitutional Court (in terms of the panel of justices presiding) on a plaintiff’s prospects. Focusing on the effect of the justices’ familiarity with one another both before and after recompositions of the court, Engel identifies a positive relationship between such familiarity and a plaintiff’s prospect of success. Noting that the strength of this relationship differs for different outcomes (e.g. success on the merits v procedural requests), Engel’s work opens a path for further research on political bias as well as on the data published by the German Constitutional Court.
Initially founded as a Max Planck institute that investigates the provision of collective goods, the institute has developed into an international hub that focuses in its research mainly on applied economics and on behavioral law. Moreover, the institute hosts three independent research groups on “moral courage”, “economic cognition”, and “mechanisms of normative change”. The set of researchers from various disciplines, such as economics, law, psychology, and sociology, constitutes a truly interdisciplinary environment that facilitates a cross-fertilization of ideas.
Lucky You: Your Case is Heard by a Seasoned Panel-Panel Effects in the German Constitutional Court
Published in 2021