The Ought of Justice
D. Kochenov, G. de Búrca, A. Williams (eds.), Europe's Justice Deficit? (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2014) (Forthcoming)
15 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2014 Last revised: 17 Sep 2014
Date Written: August 20, 2014
Firstly, dismissing justice as a non-issue in the European context means being guilty of knowingly building a justice-blind (read: unjust) legal system, which cannot possibly be a legitimate aspiration and should thus be avoided at any cost. Secondly, the students of integration seem to be guilty of overlooking or downplaying justice concerns citing merely rhetorical, often sui generis-inspired arguments and displaying statist views of justice ignoring the EU’s obvious far-reaching potential as an actor of justice and injustice shaping our lives – a view which is bound to change as the EU legal system matures. This contribution restates the normative importance of justice and makes an attempt to find its reflection in the main-stream literature on EU law, only to uncover three deficient approaches to justice: Presumed justice, Rhetorical justice and Silence about justice. All the three fall short of reflecting the EU’s nature as a justice actor. Building on these normative and empirical observations it is possible to add one more element to the list of the deficits the EU suffers from.
Keywords: EU, Values, justice, EU law, principles of law, democratic deficit, legitimacy, democracy, federalism, supranationalism
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