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  • Author: J.H.H. Weiler
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Fifty years have passed since the European Court of Justice gave what is arguably its most consequential decision: Van Gend en Loos. The UMR de droit comparé de Paris, the European Journal of International Law (EJIL), and the International Journal of Constitutional Law (I•CON) decided to mark this anniversary with a workshop on the case and the myriad of issues surrounding it. In orientation our purpose was not to 'celebrate' Van Gend en Loos, but to revisit the case critically; to problematize it; to look at its distinct bright side but also at the dark side of the moon; to examine its underlying assumptions and implications and to place it in a comparative context, using it as a yardstick to explore developments in other regions in the world. The result is a set of articles which both individually and as a whole demonstrate the legacy and the ongoing relevance of this landmark decision.
  • Topic: Development, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Morten Rasmussen
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This is the abstract only. The full article is published in Int J Constitutional Law (2014) 12 (1): 136–163 doi:10.1093/icon/mou006 Did the famous Van Gend en Loos judgment constitute a breakthrough for a constitutional practise in European law or was it merely drawing the logical legal consequences of earlier case law and of the Treaties of Rome? Based on comprehensive archival studies, this article argues that neither earlier case law nor the Treaties of Rome can fully account for the judgment. Instead, Van Gend en Loos represented a genuine revolution in European law. Prompted by the legal service of the European Commission, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) took a decisive step towards addressing two major problems of international public law, namely the lack of uniform application of European law by national courts across the six member states and the lack of primacy granted to international law in several member states. The judgment was based on a new teleological and constitutional understanding of the Treaties of Rome developed by the legal service, and took the first step towards establishing an alternative enforcement system. The ECJ would already in 1964 take the second step by introducing primacy in the Costa v. E.N.E.L. judgment. The new enforcement system remained highly fragile, however, due to the dependency on the cooperation of national courts through the preliminary reference system. As a result, the full effects of the Van Gend en Loos judgment were only felt after the Single European Act (1986) pushed reluctant national governments and courts to finally come to terms with the legal order the ECJ had developed.
  • Topic: Government, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sophie Robin-Olivier
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Focusing on the case law developed by the Court of Justice of the European Union since Van Gend en Loos, this article contends that three important shifts occurred concerning the effects of EU law in national courts since that case was decided. First, the existence of a particular category of ('direct effect') EU norms, which implies a process of selection among EU law provisions, is no longer as problematic as the method of comparison and combination of norms in judicial reasoning that has become a vehicle for the penetration of EU law in courts. Second, the possibility for individuals to claim (subjective) rights on the basis of the Treaty is overshadowed by questions concerning obligations imposed by the Treaty on individuals, and more generally, on the methods through which this horizontal effect occurs. Third, the duty for national courts to apply EU law provisions directly (direct enforcement) is now coupled with one prior question that these courts have to address, and which has become much more sensitive than before in view of the growing centrality of fundamental rights' protection in the EU system: the question of the applicability of EU and national (constitutional) law. Having examined these three shifts, the article concludes that it has become urgent to reconsider the effects of EU law in member states in order to avoid a decline of individual rights and freedoms resulting from EU law enforcement. Thus, 'Revisiting Van Gend en Loos' leads to a reflection on the hypothesis, in which EU law should yield and national courts should be granted more discretion, when confronted with the resisting substance of national law (especially fundamental rights or freedoms protected by national constitutions).
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Birgit Schlutter
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: After the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty on 1 December 2010, and right in the middle of the European response to the recent financial and economic crisis, the review of the second edition of Armin von Bogdandy's and Jürgen Bast's Principles of European Constitutional Law appears to be a timely and anything but anachronistic or cynical enterprise. The European effort to combat the financial crisis and set up a joint framework to regulate the banking sector shows the constant need for research on the 'founding principles of the polity' and the sources of its legitimacy (at 1). And indeed, the second edition of the book, too, provides a thorough examination of the main themes underlying a more closely connected Europe.
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Dimitry Kochenov
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: When you are on the subway in New York, it is difficult not to notice numerous Spanish language information posters about equality and non-discrimination, such as 'Housing discrimination on the basis of sex, race, ethnic origin… is unlawful'. They not only state the law: a telephone number in the corner informs you of where to call to make sure that if you are the victim of discrimination, help is available. Have you seen such posters in a Romani language in the Prague metro? Or in Arabic on the trains around Rotterdam?
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: New York, Europe