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Why courts are the life buoys of migrant rights: anti-immigrant pressure, variation in judicial independence, and asylum recognition rates

Zaun, Natascha ORCID: 0000-0002-0436-6275, Leroch, Martin and Thielemann, Eiko R. (2023) Why courts are the life buoys of migrant rights: anti-immigrant pressure, variation in judicial independence, and asylum recognition rates. Journal of European Public Policy. ISSN 1350-1763

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13501763.2023.2182821

Abstract

A rise in anti-immigrant pressure can reduce asylum recognition rates, irrespective of individuals’ protection needs. Independent courts, which often act as a safeguard of migrant rights vis-à-vis such pressures, have been subject to increasing political interference. Yet, we know very little about how variation in the level of judicial independence – especially among lower courts – affects policy outcomes. In this paper, we assess the impact of anti-immigrant pressure and judicial independence on first and final instance refugee status determination decisions across 28 European Union member states over a ten-year period (2008–2018). We find that the relative independence of courts makes the biggest difference in asylum recognition rates at first and final instance when levels of anti-immigrant pressure are particularly high. This effect can be demonstrated not just regarding asylum appeals, but also for first instance decisions, suggesting that independent courts can have a liberal ‘foreshadowing effect’ on national asylum agencies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/rjpp20
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
K Law > K Law (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2023 16:57
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2024 23:00
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/118262

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