EU Autonomy and Decisions of (Quasi-) Judicial Bodies: How Much Differentness is Needed?
The European Court of Justice and (Quasi-) Judicial Bodies of International Organizations, Forthcoming
Ramses A. Wessel and Steven Blockmans (eds), The Influence of International Organizations on the EU, Forthcoming
Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2011-10
36 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2011 Last revised: 3 Aug 2012
Date Written: December 21, 2011
Over many years the European Union (EU) has developed its own state-like foreign policy – newly labelled ‘external action’. One important dimension of this external action is participation in international legal regimes (membership in international organizations and signing of multilateral conventions). Because of the EU’s internal complexity participation in international legal regimes raises many issues of a constitutional nature. The Court of Justice has repeatedly been asked to scrutinize whether a particular case of participation is in compliance with EU law. In this regard, it is fair to say that the Court of Justice’s greatest concern has been the preservation of the EU’s autonomy vis-à-vis international (quasi-) judicial bodies. Indeed, it has not so far accepted to be submitted to the authority of any external (quasi-) judicial structure. The two most prominent examples of international (quasi-) judicial bodies that have had and will continue to have a normative impact on the EU are the dispute settlement mechanism of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). As is well-known the EU is a member of the WTO, while negotiations for accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) are on-going. Some of the questions addressed in this paper are: How does, will and should the Court of Justice deal with the decisions of these two (quasi-) judicial bodies? Why does the Court of Justice show so much concern for the autonomy of the European legal order? Indeed, should it be more concerned about the autonomy of the EU than constitutional courts are concerned about national autonomy?
Keywords: legal autonomy, European Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights, World Trade Organization
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation