In this paper we test to what extent the Kelsenian-type of constitutional judges are independent from political parties by studying of the Portuguese Constitutional Court. The results yield three main conclusions. First, constitutional judges in Portugal are quite sensitive to their political affiliations and their political party's presence in government when voting. Second, peer pressure is very relevant. Third, the 1997 reform that was enacted to increase judicial independence has had no robust statistically significant effect.


Law and Economics

Date of this Version

July 2008