Judicial Trust as a Zero-Sum Game in Turbulent Times

The current European Rule of Law crisis has resulted in a situation of distrust between national and European institutions, which has led to the necessity to reflect about the relevance of trust and its implications for the creation and sustainability of a European legal area. In this regard, Prof. von Bogdandy has recently stressed in this blog the importance of trust as a crucial element for promoting cooperation in multi-level systems, like the EU, where non-strict hierarchical relationships between national and EU institutions are articulated. In this post, I argue about the importance of trust among judges in the European legal system based on recent empirical findings.

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The Singapore Opinion or the End of Mixity as We Know It

Last week on Tuesday, with its decision in Opinion 2/15, on the Union’s competence to conclude ‘new generation’ EU trade and investment agreements, the Court dropped a bombshell. The Court’s ruling is set to significantly simplify the EU’s international economic relations with third countries. If the Commission, the Council and the member states had demanded clarity as to which institutions may legitimately pursue the Union’s external action objectives in its commercial relations: clarity is what they earned. The decision indeed has the potential to greatly facilitate an ‘EU-only’ signing and conclusion of future EU trade agreements. At the same time, as we argue below, the Court’s reasoning entails a number of contradicting elements that may add confusion over the legal parameters of post-Lisbon EU external relations conduct.

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Advertising: Global Constitutionalism (Journal) Volume 6, Issue 1
March 2017

Global Constitutionalism

Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

  • The end of ‘the West’ and the future of global constitutionalism M. K., J. H., J. D. and A. W.

  • The alchemists: Courts as democracy-builders in contemporary thought TOM GERALD DALY


The Singapore Silver Bullet

Is the CJEU’s Opinion on the Singapore free trade agreement a boost for Brexit? After reading the Opinion my feeling is exactly the opposite. The Court has made a clever juggling exercise with Christmas presents for everybody. But in fact, the Court has saved the best Christmas present for itself. And there are hardly any gifts for Britain. In fact, the Opinion contains a paragraph that could blow up the entire Brexit process.

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A Principle of Direct Effect: The Eurasian Economic Union’s Court pushes for more Integration

In a reply to a Belarusian request, the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union decided in one of the most important cases of its history. It formulated the ‘direct effect’ principle in order to coordinate between EAEU law and the domestic legal orders of the EAEU Member States.

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Abusive comparativism: “Pseudo-comparativist” political discourse as a means to legitimizing constitutional change in Turkey

The constitutional amendment process has arguably weakened Turkey’s already-fragile constitutionalist system. This is well known. What is less known and pretty much overlooked is that comparativism and specifically comparative constitutionalism has suffered at the hands of Turkish political elites during the legal and political discussions that preceded the referendum.

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Trump and the FBI: Four very quick questions and answers from SANFORD LEVINSON

US President Donald Trump, to the bewildered horror of many, has dismissed FBI director James Comey in the middle of an investigation about his aides' ties to Russia. Some even call this situation a constitutional crisis. We have shot Constitutional Law professor Sandy Levinson four very quick questions and received four equally short answers.

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Brexit Lawsuits, But Not As You Know Them 

Calling in the lawyers is becoming a frequent response to the challenges of Brexit. While court actions on matters of constitutional law are well known, there is another, less publicised, avenue of legal resistance. The consequence: the Brexit bill is about to become a lot bigger.

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Much Ado About Nothing? Legal and Political Schooling for the Hungarian Government

After his infamous law against the Central European University, the EU Commission has announced a treaty infringement procedure against Hungary. That will probably be of limited help against the systemic threat to the rule of law in Viktor Orbán’s state. Politically more effective might be the pressure exerted by the European People’s Party.

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Pakistan’s Reluctant Constitutionalism

On 20 April 2017, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled in one of the greatest cases in its turbulent history: the impeachment of the prime minister for involvements in shady financial dealings that bubbled up after the Panama Papers. Nothing happened; the court only showed Nawaz Sharif the yellow card. But while Pakistan narrowly missed her constitutional moment by a single judge’s vote, the court’s ruling displayed tremendous democratic maturity.

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The Spanish Constitutional Court on the Path of Self-Destruction

Recently, the Spanish Constitutional Court has published one more decision in application of the new reform of the Law on Constitutional Court which increased its powers for the execution of its own decisions. It is clear that Catalonian sovereignist politicians are acting irresponsibly and provoking the Spanish powers. The only good way to answer to this challenge is a balanced and neutral response of the Constitutional Court every time they adopt an illegal act. Instead, the Court assumed a political role. He tries to stop even any talk about independence. By doing so, it fails to respect its own role as keeper of a Constitutional framework where very diverse ideologies can be discussed.

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