Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: December 2019

10 - Are Judges Harsher with Repeat Offenders?


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.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Burnovski, Moshe, and Safra, Zvi. 2004. Deterrence Effects of Sequential Punishment Policies: Should Repeat Offenders Be More Severely Punished? International Review Of Law and Economics 14(3): 341–50.
Cassone, Alberto, and Ramello, Giovanni B.. 2011. The Simple Economics of Class Action: Private Provision of Club and Public Goods. European Journal of Law and Economics 32(2): 205–24.
Desrieux, Claudine, and Romain, Espinosa. 2019. Case Selection and Judicial Decision-Making: Evidence from French Labor Courts. European Journal of Law and Economics 47(1): 5788.
Domon, Koji, Melcarne, Alessandro, and Ramello, Giovanni B.. 2019. Digital Piracy in the Asian Countries. Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, DOI: 10.1007/s40812-019-00111-3.
Emons, Winand. 2003. Escalating Penalties for Repeat Offenders, International Review of Law and Economics 27(2): 170–78.
Emons, Winand. 2003. A Note on Optimal Punishment for Repeat Offenders, International Review of Law and Economics, 23(3): 253–59.
Eren, Ozkan and Mocan, Naci. 2018. Emotional Judges and Unlucky Juveniles. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 10(3): 171205.
Feinberg, Joel. 1965. The Expressive Function of Punishment, The Monist 49(3):397423.
Gerbaldo, Federica. 2019. Europen Court of Human Rights, in: Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, edited by, Marciano, Alain and Giovanni Battista Ramello, Springer: New York, 798–805.
Guthrie, Chris, Rachlinski, Jeffrey J., and Wistrich, Andrew J.. 2007. Blinking on the Bench: How Judges Decide Cases. Cornell Law Review 93(1): 143.
Octavian, Ichim. 2014. Just Satisfaction under the European Convention on Human Rights. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ichino, Andrea, Polo, Michele, and Rettore, Enrico. 2003. Are Judges Biased by Labor Market Conditions? European Economic Review 47(5): 913–44.
IppolitiRoberto and Ramello, Giovanni B.2018. Governance of Tax CourtsEconomics of Governance 19(4): 317–38.
Marciano, Alain, Melcarne, Alessandro, and Ramello, Giovanni B.. 2019. The Economic Importance of Judicial Institutions, Their Performance and the Proper Way to Measure Them. Journal of Institutional Economics 15(1): 8198.
MelcarneAlessandro. 2017. Careerism and Judicial BehaviorEuropean Journal of Law and Economics 44(2): 241–64.
MelcarneAlessandro and Ramello, Giovanni B.2015. Judicial Independence, Judges Incentives and Efficiency.  Review of Law & Economics 11(2): 149–69.
Miceli, Thomas. 2018. On Proportionality of Punishments and the Economic Theory of Crime. European Journal of Law and Economics 46(3): 303–14.
Mulder, Laetitia B. 2018. When Sanctions Convey Social NormsEuropean Journal of Law and Economics 46(3): 331–42.
Polinsky, A. Mitchell, and Rubinfeld, Daniel L.. 1991. A Model of Optimal Fines for Repeat Offenders. Journal of Public Economics 46(3): 291306.
Posner, Richard A. 1993. What Do Judges and Justices Maximize? The Same Thing Everyone Else Does. Supreme Court Economic Review 3: 141.
Posner, Richard A., and Miguel, De Figueiredo. 2005. Is the International Court of Justice Bias? Journal of Legal Studies 34(2): 599630.
Ramello, Giovanni B., and Stefan, Voigt. 2012. The Economics of Efficiency and the Judicial System. International Review of Law and Economics 32(1): 12.
Romano, Cesare P.R., Alter, Karen J., and Shany, Y. (eds). 2014. The Oxford Handbook of International Adjudication. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Shany, Yuval. 2014. Assessing the Effectiveness of International Courts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Shelton, Dinah. 2015. Remedies in International Human Rights Law. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sidak, J. Gregory. 1981. Rethinking Antitrust Damages. Stanford Law Review 33(2): 329–52.
Sunstein, Cass R., Schkade, David, Ellman, Lisa M., and Sawicki, Andres. 2006. Are Judgers Political? An Empirical Analysis of the Federal Judiciary. New York: Brooking Institution Press.
Erik, Voeten. 2008. The Impartiality of International Judges: Evidences from the European Court of Human Rights. American Political Science Review 102(4): 417–33.
White, Mark D. 2018The Neglected Nuance of Beccaria’s Theory of Punishment. European Journal of Law and Economics 46(3): 315–29.