Informal networks and judicial decisions: Insights from the Supreme Court of the Philippines, 1986-2015

Bjoern Dressel, Tomoo Inoue

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    To what extent do informal networks shape the decisions of the Supreme Court of the Philippines? Though often raised in the Philippines, this question has never been studied empirically. To answer it, we constructed a set of social network variables to assess how informal ties, based on university connections and work affiliations, may have influenced the court's decisions between 1986 and 2015 in 47 politically high-profile cases. Providing statistically significant evidence for the effects of political influence (presidential appointments) and hierarchical pressure (the vote of the Chief Justice) on related networks, our analysis suggests a continuing tension on the Supreme Court bench between professionalism and informality. Because the findings advance both theoretical and empirical understanding of larger issues at the intersection of courts and society throughout the region, we recommend more attention to the role of judicial networks, external to the courts as well as within them.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)616-633pp
    JournalInternational Political Science Review
    Volume39
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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