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Testing the Legal Culture of the Court

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Chapter Summary

The legal culture is a harmonising force, because of common ideals of human rights and a common notion of the role of the European Court of Human Rights. This chapter tests the hypothesis by noting the overall voting performance of each of the judges according to three variables: (a) historical-political; (b) former legal vocation; (c) geographical-legal background. It describes different case categories, and checks whether tendencies linked to the subject area reflect the three variables. The chapter explains some decisions in detail, to assess whether the rhetoric of the cases matches the views given by the judges in the interviews. Next, it looks at their voting in cases concerning Articles 8, 9 and 10 of European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). It then continues to look at the set of votes according to the judges’ different backgrounds.

Keywords: European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR); European Court of Human Rights; judges’ voting behaviour; legal culture



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