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  • Author: Damian Chalmers, Luis Barroso
  • 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): 105–134 doi:10.1093/icon/mou003 Three transformational developments flowed from Van Gend en Loos: the central symbols and ideals of EU law; an autonomous legal order with more power than traditional treaties; and a system of individual rights and duties. The judgment also set out how each of these developments was to be deployed. The symbols and ideals were set out to proclaim EU authority rather than to go to what the EU did. What the EU did was, above all, government through law. The EU legal order was conceived, above all, therefore, as a vehicle for the expression of EU government. This, in turn, shaped the allocation of individual rights which were predominantly granted only where they furthered the realization of the collective objectives of EU government. Conceiving EU law as governmental law also left a profound and negative effect on EU legal meaning. This became shaped by EU law being reduced to something to sustain activities valued by EU government rather than to provide a wider, more emancipatory imaginary.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • 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: Petros C. Mavroidis, Juan A. Marchetti
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The Uruguay Round services negotiations saw the light of day amidst pressures from lobbies in developed countries, unilateral retaliatory actions, and ideological struggle in the developing world. The final outcome, the GATS, certainly characterized by a complex structure and awkward drafting here and there, is not optimal but is an important first step towards the liberalization of trade in services. This article traces the GATS negotiating history, from its very beginning in the late 1970s, paying particular attention to the main forces that brought the services dossier to the multilateral trading system (governments, industries, and academics), and the interaction between developed and developing countries before and during the Uruguay Round. We will follow the actions, positions, and negotiating stances of four trading partners – Brazil, the European Union, India, and the United States – that were key in the development of the GATS. Finally, we will, indicatively at least, try to attribute a 'paternity' (or, rather, a 'maternity') to some key features and provisions of the agreement.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, India, Brazil
  • Author: Laurence R. Helfer
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is the crown jewel of the world's most advanced international system for protecting civil and political liberties. In recent years, however, the ECtHR has become a victim of its own success. The Court now faces a docket crisis of massive proportions, the consequence of the growing number of states subject to its jurisdiction, its favourable public reputation, its expansive interpretations of individual liberties, a distrust of domestic judiciaries in some countries, and entrenched human rights problems in others. In response to this growing backlog of individual complaints, the Council of Europe has, over the last five years, considered numerous proposals to restructure the European human rights regime and redesign the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This article argues that these proposals should be understood not as ministerial changes in supranational judicial procedure, nor as resolving a debate over whether the ECtHR should strive for individual or constitutional justice, but rather as raising more fundamental questions concerning the Court's future identity. In particular, the article argues for recognition of 'embeddedness' in national legal systems as a deep structural principle of the ECHR, a principle that functions as a necessary counterpoint to the subsidiary doctrine that has animated the Convention since its founding. Embeddedness does not substitute ECtHR rulings for the decisions of national parliaments or domestic courts. Rather, it requires the Council of Europe and the Court to bolster the mechanisms for governments to remedy human rights violations at home, obviating the need for individuals to seek supranational relief and restoring countries to a position in which the ECtHR's deference to national decision-makers is appropriate.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: According to J. Rawls, 'in a constitutional regime with judicial review, public reason is the reason of its supreme court'; it is of constitutional importance for the 'overlapping, constitutional consensus' necessary for a stable and just society among free, equal, and rational citizens who tend to be deeply divided by conflicting moral, religious, and philosophical doctrines. The European Court of Justice (ECJ), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) Court successfully transformed the intergovernmental European Community (EC) treaties and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into constitutional orders founded on respect for human rights. Their 'judicial constitutionalization' of intergovernmental treaty regimes was accepted by citizens, national courts, parliaments, and governments because the judicial 'European public reason' protected more effectively individual rights and European 'public goods' (like the EC's common market). The 'Solange method' of cooperation among European courts 'as long as' constitutional rights are adequately protected reflects an 'overlapping constitutional consensus' on the need for 'constitutional justice' in European law. The power-oriented rationality of governments interested in limiting their judicial accountability is increasingly challenged also in worldwide dispute settlement practices. Judicial interpretation of intergovernmental rules as protecting also individual rights may be justifiable notably in citizen-driven areas of international economic law protecting mutually beneficial cooperation among citizens and individual rights (e.g. of access to courts). Multilevel economic, environmental, and human rights governance can become more reasonable and more effective if national and international courts cooperate in protecting the rule of international law for the benefit of citizens (as 'democratic principals' of governments) with due regard for human rights and their constitutional concretization in national and international legal systems.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe