European Court of Justice Data

The following files contain information on European Court of Justice cases decided between 1959 and 1999. The information is coded in a series of Access 2007 database files. We have also posted a preliminary codebook. This version will be updated as the databases are updated.

A number of comments need to be made with regards to the database files. Be sure to read this information before using the data.

1. Access files automatically save all changes made to them upon entry of new information/edits. As such, it is extremely important that anyone who downloads these files is very careful about editing.

2. These files continue to be revised and cleaned as we work with them. As such, we will be sure to indicate the date of posting. Please be sure to check back with our postings when working with the data to be sure that you are working with the most current version. We of course greatly appreciate being told if errors are found that we can verify and correct. Our goal is to have as clean a dataset as possible.

3. Working with Access may be unfamiliar to some, but it is a powerful and relatively easy way to assemble working datasets that can be imported into Stata or any other statistical program one wishes to employ. The database consists of a series of ¿tables¿ in which information is entered. These tables are linked through references based upon common variables. For example, the case number is entered into the ¿general case characteristics¿ table and that case number is the reference variable for the ¿legal issues¿ table. Access provides a powerful tool, the ¿query function,¿ to build datasets consisting of data from the various tables. We recommend that you use this function for constructing datasets consisting of whatever subset of the data you wish.

4. While we have posted the full databases, we do not have equal confidence in all of the coded information. In the codebook we discuss in detail issues we encountered in collecting the information. One variable merits mention here. At this point, we do not have confidence in the ¿issue area¿ data we collected. The choice of terms from the ECJ case books, it turns out, is not based upon a well-defined coding scheme from the Court. We have correspondence from the Court to this effect. Until cross-validated, we would recommend not using this information at this point.


Cliff Carrubba
Matthew Gabel

Code Book and Data
Note: All files from 1960-1999 have been updated as of 7/19/2011.

Access Data Codebook (Adobe)

Data Audit

Summary Report

Access Files