The ECJ Under Siege – New Constitutional Challenges for the ECJ
THE ECJ UNDER SIEGE – NEW CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE ECJ, F. Fontanelli, G. Martinico, eds., The Icfai University Press, 2009
298 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2010
Date Written: September 15, 2009
This book focuses on four challenges faced by the European Court of Justice: the Reform Treaty, the enlargement, the relationship with other courts and the recent threat to security represented by the rise of the international criminal network.
The Reform Treaty’s scope and purpose are much more limited than the Constitutional Treaty’s ones, however, it still intends to bring certain significant changes in the life of the Union. Many essays and some commentaries already exist on this Treaty (although the Reform Treaty has not yet come into force), but they tend to limit the new Treaty’s provisions in a descriptive fashion, whilst the aim of this work is to study the impact of the Reform Treaty on the ECJ’s activity. The enlargement had a double immediate impact on the ECJ: it caused the increase of the judges’ number and the introduction of new legal cultural elements that could result in affecting the legal reasoning and the argumentative techniques used by the European judges. Another delicate aspect is the status of the network of the European and non-European courts: judicial interactions between the ECJ and the other judicial actors are becoming more and more important in light of the progressive transformation of the EU. On the one hand, in fact, the “humanization” of EC Law (i.e. the increasing relevance of the human rights discourse in the EC activity) triggered the necessity to deal with the issue of the consistency between EC law and ECHR. On the other hand, the discipline of the WTO requires the consistency between the action of WTO bodies and the ECJ, and a new set of criteria to harmonize the reciprocal influence of their respective legal orders. Finally, the concern for security spread after the rise of international terrorism, along with the birth of a European criminal law make it necessary to analyze the potential conflict between rights and security and the de-pillarization process, two factors that invest the ECJ with a fundamental role in these sensitive matters.
Keywords: European Court of Justice, European Constitutional Law, Constitutional Challenges
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