An Instruction Manual to Stop a Judicial Rebellion (before it is too late, of course)

2016 was not a good year for the EU. Among many other things, one of the EU’s proudest achievements, its judiciary, has shown the first signs of worrying instability: In Germany, Denmark and Italy, high-level courts have openly and harshly declared their dissatisfaction with rulings by the European Court of Justice. I would not say that these are nationalist overreactions. These are worrying (and I would add justified) signs of something going wrong.

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The Italian Constitutional Court in re Taricco: “Gauweiler in the Roman Campagna”

The Italian Constitutional Court’s Tarrico judgement is worded in apparently much milder terms than the BVerfG’s preliminary reference in Gauweiler. The content of the ICC’s decision, though, seems loaded with much more dynamite. In Gauweiler, the CJEU was called to interpret an act of another EU institution. In Taricco, the CJEU is called to reinterpret its own decision, after the ICC essentially asked “please, say it again?”

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Legal Disintegration? The Ruling of the Danish Supreme Court in AJOS

On December 6, 2016, the Supreme Court of Denmark (SCDK) ruled in the Ajos case. The ruling will be read, remembered and taught as an example of defiance of clear guidelines from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) by the highest court in Denmark. EU law is an exterior phenomenon but part and parcel of Danish law. It follows that switching it off, as in Ajos, necessarily entails applying one law by breaking another. That is not a viable path for any legal system taking supranational obligations seriously.

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The Taricco Decision: A Last Attempt to Avoid a Clash between EU Law and the Italian Constitution

Is Italy obliged by EU law to pursue criminal acts longer than provided by Italian law? This question might cause a fundamental clash between the Italian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice. Unlike the CJEU, the Italian Constitutional Court interprets a retroactive suspension of the limitation period as a matter of principle of legality, and thereby as a matter of a core principle of Italian constitutional law. By referring the case to the CJEU, the Italian Constitutional Court gives the European Court a chance to revisit its jurisdiction while avoiding the identity language of the German Constitutional Court – good news for cooperative constitutionalism in Europe.

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Money Makes the Court Go Round: The Russian Constitutional Court’s Yukos Judgment

On 19 December 2017 the Russian Constitutional Court (RCC) ruled that payment of just satisfaction in the Yukos case was contrary to the Russian Constitution. It is the first time the apex court of a Council of Europe member state concluded that it should not pay just satisfaction. This blog post provides the background of the case, sums up the reasoning of the RCC and assesses the implications of its judgment of 19 December 2017.

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Sailing uncharted waters – for how long? On transitional post-Brexit trade arrangements

Given the short timeframe for negotiating an exit agreement, the UK and the EU-27 may not be able to agree on new terms for their future trade relations before the UK’s formal exit from the EU takes effect. Consequently, many experts are pushing for a transitional arrangement.

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The Supreme Court in Miller – some early comments

The UK Supreme Court’s decision in the Miller appeal was probably greeted with a sigh of relief in 10 Downing Street. Sure, the Government will now need to seek parliamentary approval for triggering Article 50 TEU and starting the formal process of withdrawing from the EU, but the much greater political danger of having to also seek the consent of the devolved parliaments of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, has not materialised. What follows are a few brief comments on the Supreme Court’s reasoning and an assessment of its implications for the future.

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Europarecht, Prärogative und Devolution: Der UK Supreme Court entscheidet über den Brexit

In seinem heutigen Urteil zum Brexit hat der britische Supreme Court entschieden, dass die britische Regierung nur nach gesetzlicher Ermächtigung den Austritt aus der EU erklären darf. Die Mehrheit des Gerichts sieht das Unionsrecht als eigene Rechtsquelle an, die nur das Parlament trocken legen kann. Dass es das nun tun wird, steht außer Frage.

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Sklavenhalter auf Europa-Urlaub: Nicht unser Problem?

Am Dienstag, überlagert vom NPD-Urteil, kam eine Kammerentscheidung des EGMR in Straßburg, die mehr Aufmerksamkeit verdient hätte. Es geht darin um eine Familie aus Dubai, die drei filipinische Frauen wie Haussklavinnen hielt.

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Is there Hope for the Right to Hope?

The European Court of Human Rights has overturned its former position that convicts sentenced to life in prison enjoy a "right to hope" to be eventually released. Arguably, in this case we have an instance of interpretation of evolution which lowers rather than heightens human rights protection. In the current climate when there is a growing political appetite to curtail human rights, a Court interpretation towards change in this direction without good reasons may create a dangerous precedent for further reduction of basic human rights guarantees.

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