European Integration and National Courts - A Strategic Analysis of Judicial Behaviour
52 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2009
Date Written: October 9, 2009
The present paper looks at the jurisprudence of national courts on the European law doctrines of supremacy and direct effect. Its central hypothesis is that national courts, supreme and constitutional courts in particular, try under the constraints of their institutional system to reconcile two conflicting goals: (1) the necessity to ensure the application and, hence, the supremacy of EU law on a daily basis as a direct and inevitable consequence of EU membership, and (2) the will to keep integration under control by preserving an at least hypothetical last word for the Member States and, thereby, the notion of national sovereignty. This hypothesis provides an explanation both for the overall equilibrium governing the relationship between the ECJ and national courts and for the variations in the way national judges have accommodated direct effect and EU law supremacy.
Keywords: European integration, law, national courts, neo-institutionalism
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