Tereza Papoušková
Author’s affiliation: Faculty of Law, Masaryk University Brno

Agenda setting at the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic: who decides on which cases are decided on merits

Jurisprudence 6/2018 Section: Articles Page: 3–21

Keywords: the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic, constitutional justices, clerks of constitutional justices, agenda setting, manifestly unfounded petitions, discretionary power, extralegal influences on judges’ decision making

Abstract: The key issue is not only the decision-making of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic, but also the setting of its agenda. What role do justices and clerks play in the latter process? What factors shape their decision to decide a case on merits and not to reject it? These questions are examined based on clerks’ questionnaire replies, in-depth interviews with justices and clerks, and a statistical and content analysis of the Court’s case law. The findings are as follows. Justices rapporteurs and sometimes also their clerks set the agenda of the Court by (not) drafting a judgement in a case. Clerks as well as justices draft judgments in particular when they want to grant the petition. Some justices draft judgements more often in matters they specialize in. The situation when the Court issues mainly granting judgements and individual justices can influence issues which the Court deals with is further discussed and some suggestions regarding its change are made.