Judicial Individualism and Judicial Disagreement in Constitutional Reasoning

Tamas Gyorfi*, Eva Boda-Balogh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although it is common knowledge that judges in different legal systems have different conventions as to how they justify their decisions and some judges are more while others are less willing to articulate their positions, we did not have exact data about these differences in constitutional reasoning. Our research proposed a simple index (JI) to measure the level of judicial individualism. Drawing on the research design of the Conreason project, we used this index to compare the practice of 14 constitutional courts in landmark constitutional cases. In addition, we also measured the level of disagreement (JD) within these 14 courts and by introducing the concept of disagreement factor (DF) we analysed to what extent substantive disagreements contribute to the rise of the number of separate opinions and, hence, to the rise of judicial individualism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-251
Number of pages20
JournalVienna Journal on International Constitutional Law
Issue number3
Early online date9 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding source: National Research, Development and Innovation Office, Hungary


  • constitutional interpretation
  • legal reasoning
  • judicial opinions


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