In this article we propose a novel methodology, which uses text similarity techniques to infer precise citations from the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), including their content. We construct a complete network of citations to judgments on the level of singular text units or paragraphs. By contrast to previous literature, which takes into account only explicit citations of entire judgments, we also infer implicit citations, meaning the repetitions of legal arguments stemming from past judgments without explicit reference. On this basis we can differentiate between different categories and modes of citations. The latter is crucial for assessing the actual legal importance of judgments in the citation network. Our study is an important methodological step forward in integrating citation network analysis into legal studies, which significantly enhances our understanding of European Union law and the decision making of the CJEU.
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