Judicial empowerment is often cited as a driver of transnational governance, particularly in the European Union. In this view, lower national courts enthusiastically began referring cases to the European Court of Justice to acquire new powers of judicial review. Revisiting this argument, I argue that path dependent, everyday practices within domestic judiciaries stemming from insufficient training in European Union law, workload pressures, and cultural aversions to judicial review can resist Europeanization even when it would lead to empowerment. The argument is evaluated via a critical case study of judicial practice in Italy that is placed in a broader comparative context.
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