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Ana Júlia Maurício and Naomi Hart

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Carlos Arrebola, Ana Júlia Maurício and Héctor Jiménez Portilla

This article contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the role of the Advocate General in the makeup of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The article measures the influence of the Advocate General on the judgments of the Court of Justice through an econometric study using a probit model with data from annulment procedures of the last twenty years (1994–2014). Despite the acknowledged limitations in establishing the influence of the Advocate General on the case law of the Court of Justice via a quantitative analysis, the regression models used in this article give a statistically significant measure of such influence, improving previous attempts in the literature. The findings suggest that the Court of Justice is approximately 67 per cent more likely to annul an act (or part of it) if the Advocate General advises the Court to annul than if it advises the Court to dismiss the case or declare it inadmissible. These results raise several questions as regards judicial independence and the relevance of the figure of the Advocate General, providing a grounded basis for future discussions and judicial reform.