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Public Opinion & Media Coverage vis-à-vis the Judicial Independence of the Czech Constitutional Judges

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HANYCH Monika BENÁK Jaroslav

Rok publikování 2018
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Právnická fakulta

Popis Public opinion influence is one of those undisputedly impactful on judicial decision-making (Friedman 2010, Epstein & Martin 2012 or Lim et al. 2015) as courts themselves rely not only upon support from the elected branches of government to use its power (Ferejohn 1999) but also on a reservoir of public support (Clark 2011; Zilis 2015). But how does public opinion influence judges while deciding their cases? What is the approach of judges towards media coverage of their decisions and the role in shaping public opinion? In our research, we led a dozen of in-depth interviews with former and current judges of the Czech Constitutional Court to find out the answers. The aim of this paper is thus to present our observations and conclusions based on qualitative data, specifically what is their media approach and public opinion strategies and vice versa, what is the influence of public opinion to their decision-making. Moreover, we confronted the obtained information with media coverage as well as the behaviour of judges while deciding and voting the cases as to clash their position with real positions of judges. We can, therefore, offer a complex image of how the judges of Czech Constitutional Court approach the media, how they reflect public opinion or whether and how they try to shape the public opinion in connection with media by their own behaviour and decisions.
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