Empirical research into judicial behaviour and the legal system is bountiful in the United States, but few and far between in Europe. The next frontier is legal big data analysis. In this paper, I describe the methodological framework of my PhD research, in which I empirically investigate the influence of the Belgian Court of Cassation on the lower judiciary through a study of the citation of the Court of Cassation’s case law. Emphasis is placed on the theoretical foundation, research hypotheses and methodology. The normative significance of this research is considerable: the aim is to uncover the nature of precedent in a civil law jurisdiction, viewed from a hierarchical perspective, and thus, whether or not case law is considered a source of law in daily practice.
How to Cite:
Van Der Haegen, M., 2017. Building a Legal Citation Network: The Influence of the Court of Cassation on the Lower Judiciary. Utrecht Law Review, 13(3), pp.65–76. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.406