The purpose of the proposed project is to perform the first in-depth research into ideological profiles of members of the judiciary in Slovenia, while adapting the methodology and interpretation to take into consideration the usual criticism against similar research in other countries. The objectives of the research are theoretical, applicative and normative.
To develop a multidimensional analytical model for assessing ideological profiles of the most senior members of the judiciary.
In this research, the model will be applied to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia, and is later planned to be extended to cover the regular judiciary, especially the Supreme Court and higher courts. The model will be adapted to the conditions in Slovenia. However, these are part of the broader European approach to law, so the model could later also be expanded to include the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the EU.
The objective is for the application of the theoretical model to allow: (1) assessing the ideological profile of individual judges, (2) forecasting the results of future court cases.
To assess the ideological positions of Constitutional Court judges by applying the model in an analysis of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court.
To analyse empirically the decisions of the Constitutional Court based on the results of the model.
The ideological positions of judges will be assessed based on their votes in a broad sample of important rulings. More details about how the sample will be formed and the ideological positions assessed, and about the planned empirical analysis can be found in the chapter on project content.
To develop and propose guidelines for improving the functioning of the Slovenian judiciary by strengthening fundamental court values, like independence, impartiality and responsibility of courts and individual judges.
To develop concrete institutional proposals for improving the appointment procedure for Constitutional Court judges and the system of appointments and promotions of judges in other courts.
The proposals will be based on the results of empirical research and the new theoretical findings about the functioning of the judicial system from our research, and on knowledge about the current normative regulation and its basis in legal theory and politics.
The research will result in a completely new perspective on the legal system for Slovenia, supported by original empirical findings about the role of ideological profiles. An important new contribution to the Slovenian (and also European) legal expertise will be the interdisciplinary approach to law as a value and discourse-based concept, combining the knowledge and methodology from law, economics, sociology and political science. We expect the results to encourage further research and thus contribute to a new interdisciplinary line of social science research.