Judicial disagreement need not be political: dissent on the Estonian Supreme Court


Chris Hanretty


August 12, 2015


I investigate the non-unanimous decisions of judges on the Estonian Supreme Court. I argue that since judges on the court enjoy high de jure independence, dissent frequently, and are integrated in the normal judicial hierarchy, the Estonian Supreme Court is a crucial case for the presumption that judicial disagreement reveals policy preferences. I analyse dissenting opinions using an ideal point response model. Examining the characteristics of cases which discriminated with respect to the recovered dimension, I show that this dimension cannot be interpreted as a meaningful policy dimension, but instead reflects disagreement about the proper scope of constitutional redress.


You can find the full-text of the article here. The version of record can be found here.

Replication data

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Hanretty, Chris. 2015. “Judicial Disagreement Need Not Be Political: Dissent on the Estonian Supreme Court.” Europe-Asia Studies 67 (6): 970–88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2015.1054260.