How Docket Control Shapes Judicial Behavior

Mark McKenzie and co-authors have an article forthcoming in Journal of Law and Courts, “How docket control shapes judicial behavior: a comparative analysis of the Norwegian and Danish supreme courts.”

Abstract: European courts have responded to increasing caseloads by providing justices or other actors with a higher degree of discretionary docket control. Does docket type—mandatory or discretionary—shape judicial behavior? Using a most similar systems research design regarding tax decisions in the Norwegian and Danish supreme courts, we show that discretionary dockets are associated with higher dissent and reversal rates than mandatory dockets, that low-status litigants have a lower chance of winning under mandatory dockets, and that docket type conditions the effects of justices’ preferences. Our findings have implications for comparative judicial politics and for institutional design.