European Court of Justice - Explained
What is the European Court of Justice?
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Table of ContentsWhat is the European Court of Justice?How does the European Court of Justice Work?Academic Research on the European Court of Justice
What is the European Court of Justice?
European court of justice (ECJ), a body of the European Union (EU), is tasked to interpret EU law uniformly across all member countries and settle legal disputes between its member governments and other EU bodies. Moreover, in certain conditions, it allows individuals, association or institution to move against an EU establishment in the event that they feel it has infringed their rights.
How does the European Court of Justice Work?
The ECJ was formed in 1952 and is headquartered in Luxembourg. It is staffed by judges from every EU nation for a total of 47 judges (this will expand to 56 in 2019). There are 11 advocates general. The ECJ is divided into two courts:
- Court of Justice - This court manages demands for fundamental decisions from national courts.
- General Court - This court addresses the cases related to annulment or invalidation brought by people, organizations and, at times, EU governments. Practically, this implies this court addresses competition law, state law, exchange, horticulture, exchange marks.
Each judge and advocate general is selected for a 6-year term. In each Court, the judges select a President who serves renewable term of 3 years. Courts from EU member nations can apply EU law. If the court is in uncertain about the application or legitimacy of an EU law, it can approach the Court for Illumination. If an EU countrys law or court decisions violates fundamental rights or go against the EU treaties, the Court can be requested to repeal it by an EU government, the Council of the EU, the European Commission or (sometimes) the European Parliament.
Academic Research on the European Court of Justice
- Who are the masters of the treaty?:Europeangovernments and theEuropean CourtofJustice, Alter, K. J. (1998). International organization,52(1), 121-147. This paper explores how the Court escaped member state control. To achieve this, this article develops a general hypothesis of the autonomy of the ECJ, focusing on how differing time horizons of political and judicial actors, support for the Court within the national judiciaries, and decision-making rules at the supranational level limit the member states' ability to control the Court.
- TheEuropean CourtofJustice, national governments, and legal integration in theEuropeanUnion, Garrett, G., Kelemen, R. D., & Schulz, H. (1998). International Organization,52(1), 149-176. In this paper, the authors develop a game theoretic model of the conditions under which the European Court of Justice can be expected to take adverse judgments against European Union member governments and when the governments are likely to abide by these decisions. The model generates three hypotheses. These hypotheses are tested against three broad lines of case law central to ECJ jurisprudence. The authors wishes to show that although influenced by legal precedent, the ECJ also takes into account the anticipated reactions of member governments.
- TheEuropean CourtofJustice: taking rights seriously?, Coppel, J., & O'neill, A. (1992). Legal Studies,12(2), 227-245.
- Revisiting theEuropean courtofjustice, Mattli, W., & Slaughter, A. M. (1998). International organization,52(1), 177-209. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is widely recognized not only as an important actor in the process of European integration but also as a strategic actor in its own right. This paper analyses the debate between neofunctionalists and intergovernmentalists on the expansion of the Court in the last four years.
- The legitimacy of transnational legal institutions: Compliance, support, and theEuropean CourtofJustice, Gibson, J. L., & Caldeira, G. A. (1995). American Journal of Political Science, 459-489. In this paper, the authors make use of competing propositions from the literature on institutional legitimacy and compliance to trace the sources of acceptance of, or the propensity to comply with, judicial decisions. Findings show that people are less likely to accept a court decision that they dont find favourable. This research demonstrates that legitimacy is important for acceptance and probably for compliance; and that the European Court of Justice must tend to what may be an emerging shortfall of legitimacy for the high bench of the European Union.
- Legal interpretation at theEuropean CourtofJustice, Fennelly, N. (1996). Fordham Int'l LJ,20, 656. This Essay is an attempt to enunciate the essential elements of the European Court of Justices (ECJ) approach to legal interpretation, by the only Irish Advocate General to be appointed to that Court to date and to draw attention to some of its most notable practical applications.
- TheEuropean CourtofJustice, state noncompliance, and the politics of override, Sweet, A. S., & Brunell, T. (2012). American Political Science Review,106(1), 204-213. This paper analyses an article previously published by the APSR, Carrubba, Gabel, and Hankla claim that the decision making of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has been constrainedsystematicallyby the threat of override on the part of member state governments, acting collectively, and by the threat of noncompliance on the part of any single state.
- Integration and integrity in the legal reasoning of theEuropean CourtofJustice, Bengoetxea, J., MacCormick, N., & Moral Soriano, L. (2001).
- TheEuropean CourtofJusticeas an agent of Europeanization? Restoring compliance with EU law, Panke, D. (2007). Journal of European Public Policy,14(6), 847-866. This article complements existing approaches in studying instances in which states do not meet European demands immediately (non-compliance). It analyses the role of the European Court of Justice in facilitating changes even against states' eminent resistance to top-down Europeanization. An empirical analysis shows that judgments and threats of sanctions are important for restoring compliance but are not always effective. This article theoretically accounts for this finding. The hypotheses are illustrated with two environmental and social policy case studies in Germany.
- WTO law in theEuropean CourtofJustice, Kuijper, P. J., & Bronckers, M. (2005). Common Market L. Rev.,42, 1313.