• Le politiche giudiziarie inglesi degli anni 2000: mutamento di paradigma e rafforzamento dell'incisività politica dei giudici
  • Tabarelli, Marco <1981>


  • SPS/04 Scienza politica


  • The Ph.D. dissertation analyses the reasons for which political actors (governments, legislatures and political parties) decide consciously to give away a source of power by increasing the political significance of the courts. It focuses on a single case of particular significance: the passage of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 in the United Kingdom. This Act has deeply changed the governance and the organization of the English judicial system, has provided a much clearer separation of powers and a stronger independence of the judiciary from the executive and the legislative. What’s more, this strengthening of the judicial independence has been decided in a period in which the political role of the English judges was evidently increasing. I argue that the reform can be interpreted as a «paradigm shift» (Hall 1993), that has changed the way in which the judicial power is considered. The most diffused conceptions in the sub-system of the English judicial policies are shifted, and a new paradigm has become dominant. The new paradigm includes: (i) stronger separation of powers, (ii) collective (as well as individual) conception of the independence of the judiciary, (iii) reduction of the political accountability of the judges, (iv) formalization of the guarantees of judicial independence, (v) principle-driven (instead of pragmatic) approach to the reforms, and (vi) transformation of a non-codified constitution in a codified one. Judicialization through political decisions represent an important, but not fully explored, field of research. The literature, in particular, has focused on factors unable to explain the English case: the competitiveness of the party system (Ramseyer 1994), the political uncertainty at the time of constitutional design (Ginsburg 2003), the cultural divisions within the polity (Hirschl 2004), federal institutions and division of powers (Shapiro 2002). All these contributes link the decision to enhance the political relevance of the judges to some kind of diffusion of political power. In the contemporary England, characterized by a relative high concentration of power in the government, the reasons for such a reform should be located elsewhere. I argue that the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 can be interpreted as a result of three different kinds of reasons: (i) the social and demographical transformations of the English judiciary, which have made inefficient most of the precedent mechanism of governance, (ii) the role played by the judges in the policy process and (iii) the cognitive and normative influences originated from the European context, as a consequence of the membership of the United Kingdom to the European Union and the Council of Europe. My thesis is that only a full analysis of all these three aspects can explain the decision to reform the judicial system and the content of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. Only the cultural influences come from the European legal complex, above all, can explain the paradigm shift previously described.


  • 2009-02-20


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Tabarelli, Marco (2009) Le politiche giudiziarie inglesi degli anni 2000: mutamento di paradigma e rafforzamento dell'incisività politica dei giudici, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienza politica , 21 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/2161.