The Giving Reasons Requirement

Martin Shapiro

in On Law, Politics, and Judicialization

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780199256488
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600234 | DOI:
The Giving Reasons Requirement

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To sustain a viable social science of law and courts, testable propositions, appropriate research designs for testing those hypotheses, and comparative materials are needed; Ch. 4, and the two papers within it, discuss and use three strategies for building theory through testing and comparing. This first paper, which was originally published in the University of Chicago Law Forum in 1992, discusses a mode of testing that involves constructing causal hypotheses to explain a major change that has occurred in one particular part of one particular legal system, and testing these comparatively either by predicting future developments in the same legal system, or (as here) by predicting that another legal system now displaying the same hypothesized conditions will experience in the future those results that occurred in the first system. Shapiro examines the ‘giving reasons requirement’ in European Community (EC) law by deriving predictions about European law from the evolution of American judicial review of administrative acts. The first part of the paper examines the giving reasons requirement in relation to administrative discretion and judicial review of administrative action in the United States. The second part goes on to compare US and EC law, looking at whether the EC giving reasons requirement is substantive as well as procedural, and examining the experience of the European Court of Justice with substantive review.

Keywords: administrative acts; administrative discretion; causal hypotheses; comparison; courts; European Community; European Community law; European Court of Justice; giving reasons requirement; judicial review; law; prediction; social science; substantive review; testing; United States

Chapter.  13355 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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