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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No Consensus – but Hope at Villa Vigoni

The Colloquium on the judgment of the Italian Constitutional Court (ICC) No. 238 of 22 October 2014 could hardly have been held at a more fitting venue. It brought together German and Italian lawyers from 11 to 13 May 2017 at the Villa Vigoni Conference Centre on the shores of Lago di Como, property of […]

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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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Suggesting Solutions: A European Way?

The conveners asked the third panel of the conference to take a European law perspective, as we are dealing, after all, with a conflict between two European countries. This European perspective raises several questions, many of which you can find in the programme. These questions can be roughly organised into two main categories. First, is […]

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After Sentenza 238: A Plea for Legal Peace

1. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS This post summarizes some of the key points of my presentation at the upcoming Villa Vigoni conference organized by the Max Planck Institute and its partners around the theme ‘Remedies against Immunity? Reconciling International and Domestic Law after the Italian Constitutional Court’s Sentenza 238/2014’. There are no easy answers to the questions […]

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Judgment 238/2014 and the importance of a constructive dialogue

I will focus here on two facets of Judgment 238/2014 and its legal implications. In the first part, I will shed some light on certain drawbacks of the application of the counter-limits doctrine in the relationship between the Italian Constitutional Court and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Some of these criticisms show that the […]

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Italian Concerns after Sentenza 238/2014

Judicial practice may be a means to overcome the opposition of the State executive to legal development since judicial reliance on customary international law allows for the State’s explicit consent to become less important. At least in democratic constitutional States court networks may, in horizontal dialogues, expedite the development of customary international law even against […]

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Italian concerns after sentenza 238/2014: possible reactions, possible solutions

Introduction 1. International legal thinking has long been dominated by the perception of the State as a unitary subject. Yet, the “need to look behind the monolithic face of the State”1)I borrowed this expression from R. Higgins, ‘The Concept of “The State”: Variable Geometry and Dualist Perceptions’, in L. Boisson de Chazournes and V. Gowlland-Debbas […]

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