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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: December 2019

10 - Are Judges Harsher with Repeat Offenders?

Summary

Although in the last decade an increasing number of studies have tried to deepen the understanding of judicial-decision making and generally the working of courts, there is still a substantial theoretical and empirical gap to be investigated. The present research attempts to advance the understanding of judicial decision-making in the rarely investigated field of international courts’. The international setting, representing the intersection of several national politics’ agendas, supplies results even more obscure to be interpreted than national courts.

The main research question raised is whether the usual theoretical pillars guiding damages awarding in judicial decision-making still applies herewith or whether a different approach should be adopted for international courts and specifically for the European Court of Human Rights the subject matter of the current study, in which for example the defendant is very often states rather than individuals. The empirical investigation shows patterns and regularities that might offer a reasonable explanation on how the international court decides and what is the likely meaning of the peculiar damages awarding scheme that seems mainly to go in the direction of performing an expressive function.

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