About This Project

The process of judicial decision-making is often obscure. This is especially true for international courts such as the Court of Justice of the European Union, where a fear of national favoritism comes into play. While there has been much scholarly discussion in the US of the effects of external factors such as sex or social background on judicial decisions, the analysis of this issue in Europe is limited. This research project will fill a gap in this research by adressing judges' national origin.

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What is the context of this research?

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is the judicial institution of the European Union. The General Court (the court where most lawsuits are initiated) as well as the European Court of Justice are both composed of one judge per member state - currently 28. Those judges come from a vast variety of backgrounds, which might have a possible influence of the outcome of their decision.

In the US there is extensive research analyzing the influence of the judge's sex and race on judicial decisions (cf., e.g., ttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/36188617_..., http://www.pnas.org/content/108/17/6889.full). The CJEU offers a unique setting to investigate these influences in conncetion with the judges' nationality and experience.

What is the significance of this project?

How decision-making works and what factors influence it is important in any judicial system. Being aware of how externalities influence decision-making processes enables a change through self-reflection. At the same time, this awareness can also lead to reforms of institutional designs, which shape or reinforce existing externalities. These reforms are important to bring transparency to the judicial process and increase the uniform application of the law.

What are the goals of the project?

The project will collect the necessary data to do a statistical analysis of the case law of the CJEU. We will focus on judgments in "actions for annulment" in the area of competition law (currently 1888 cases). The higher the funding the more decisions we will be able to include. All data which is collected will be made publically available (open access) to enable further research on the topic.
I plan to publish the results of the project in a paper.


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In order to analyze the Court's decision, they have to be coded for their outcome and possible influencing factors. Because of the vast number of cases, this is only possible with the help of student research assistants, who will work under my supervision. I will hire 3 students who will be compensated at the standard rate of 9.16€/h.

The funding target will at least enable the coding of a sub category of the relevant cases (approx. 900 cases); the higher the funding, the more cases we will be able to code and analyze.

Endorsed by

The research project presented by Mr. Wendland sounds especially interesting in the context of the current discussions about the role of the nation states in the European Union. As my PhD student Mr. Wendland has shown that he is able to plan, organize and execute any research project independently. I am looking forward to reading his research paper.

Meet the Team

Hendrik M. Wendland
Hendrik M. Wendland
Ref. jur., PhD and LLM Candidate


University of Heidelberg, Columbia Law School
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Hendrik M. Wendland

Hendrik Wendland is a PhD Candidate and Research Assistant at the University of Heidelberg specialized in European Union Law. He is writing his PhD thesis on the prohibition of anticompetitive behavior under the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union.
He has previously published on a variety of issues related to EU law such as the Freedom of Establishment and State Aid Law (cf. https://uni-heidelberg.academia.edu/HendrikMWendla...)

He is currently pursuing a LL.M. degree at Columbia law school.

Lab Notes

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Additional Information

All backers will be publically mentioned by name (if they wish so), when the data is made publically available.

Project Backers

  • 50Backers
  • 100%Funded
  • $2,200Total Donations
  • $44.00Average Donation
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