David Kosař

Dissertation Title: Judicial Accountability in Transitional Societies

Doctoral Supervisor: Professor Stephen Holmes 


David Kosař is a J.S.D. candidate at New York University School of Law and a Marie Curie Fellow at Masaryk University. In 2007 he earned his LL.M. in Human Rights Law at CEU (first in the class) after previously graduated from Masaryk University in Law. After two years of clerkship at the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic, David entered the J.S.D. program at New York University School of Law. David’s areas of interest are primarily in comparative constitutional law, judicial studies, international law and human rights. He published in several peer-reviewed law journals (most recently in European Constitutional Law Review and International Journal of Constitutional Law). His J.S.D. project, supervised by Stephen Holmes, examines the use of mechanisms of judicial accountability in transitional societies.


Judicial independence appears on most laundry lists of institutions engaged with the rule of law. It is often considered an unqualified public good. As a result, all major players involved in legal reform and rule of law building diverted significant resources to this issue and judicial independence is widely studied. In contrast, judicial accountability has received far less attention, especially in civil law jurisdictions. David’s research at NYU aims to close this gap. He defines the concept of judicial accountability and examines how mechanisms of judicial accountability operate. The theoretical part of his project focuses on four core accountability issues: how much are judges held to account, by whom, for what, and by what mechanisms. The empirical part of David’s JSD project offers a longitudinal analysis of the use of mechanisms of judicial accountability in the Czech Republic and Slovakia from 1993 to 2010 and investigates whether the introduction of the judicial council model of court administration had any impact on the use of accountability mechanisms.