EU Judge Dehousse’s Farewell Address, with a short introduction by Professors Alemanno & Pech

Readers of this blog will find here the English translation of Judge Franklin Dehousse’s farewell address, which he had hoped to give on the occasion of his departure from the EU General Court last month. In an apparent break with tradition, no public ceremony was organised for the departing EU judges, and an internal meeting was arranged instead. While regrettable, this is perhaps not surprising. Indeed, Judge Dehousse has been among one of the most outspoken critics of the controversial reform of the EU’s court system.

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Blutige Nase im Endspiel oder im Freundschaftsspiel? Eindrücke von der zweiten Karlsruher Verhandlung im OMT-Verfahren

Was ist von der Entscheidung des BVerfG in Sachen OMT zu erwarten? Auch wenn man sich dafür ein wenig aus dem Fenster lehnen muss, so scheint doch vorstellbar, dass das Gericht seine Rechtsprechung zur Integrationsverantwortung um ein weiteres Element bereichern wird: eine als Minderheitenrecht ausgestaltete Befugnis des Bundestages, über Art. 23 Ia GG hinaus Nichtigkeitsklagen nach Art. 263 I, II AEUV vor dem Gerichtshof wegen Kompetenzverletzungen zu erheben. Andere mögliche Urteilsaussprüche wie z.B. eine Befassungspflicht des Bundestages mit behaupteten Kompetenzüberschreitungen blieben dann doch eher symbolhaft, auch wenn der Senat einen gewissen Glauben in die legitimatorische Kraft solcher Debatten erkennen ließ. Wie auch immer die Lösung des Gerichts aussehen wird: sie wird sich voraussichtlich auf den Maßstabsteil beschränken.

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The Force awakens – The Schrems case from a German perspective

Just like Star Wars, the "Solange" saga about German constitutional order’s approach to fundamental rights protection in the context of European integration appeared as a story told and settled. But now there are rumours that in Germany Solange Episode III is in the making, with a release date around 2016. The ECJ’s Schrems decision will bring some turmoil to the Solange Episode III production in Germany.

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Could the Schrems decision trigger a regulatory "race to the top"?

By and large the possibility of challenging mass surveillance worldwide can be strengthened by two factors. Perhaps counter-intuitively, the first should be the support of the business community. The second is democracy.

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Safeguarding European Fundamental Rights or Creating a Patchwork of National Data Protection?

On Tuesday, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union declared the Commission’s US Safe Harbour Decision invalid. The Court’s ruling in Case C-362/14 of the Austrian Internet activist Maximillian Schrems v the Irish Data Protection Commissioner is a milestone in the protection of European fundamental rights, but it also preserves space for different national supervisory standards and national discretion on whether data may actually be transferred. Is the ruling opening the way for a patchwork of national data protection? How does this ruling influence the TTIP negotiations?

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Schrems v. Commissioner: A Biblical Parable of Judicial Power

We might celebrate the Court’s decision in Case C-362/14 as an improbable victory of good (data-privacy) over evil (consumer and intelligence data abuses). But I want to offer some words of caution about god-like judicial power.

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Luxemburg rüttelt an Wohnsitzauflage für Flüchtlinge

Bürgerkriegsflüchtlingen, die internationalen Schutz genießen und Sozialhilfe beziehen, wird in Deutschland von den Behörden ein verbindlicher Wohnsitz zugewiesen. Das, so Generalanwalt Cruz Villalón in seiner wohl letzten Amtshandlung, dürfte so pauschal europarechtswidrig sein: Flüchtlinge dürfen nicht nach ihrem Rechtsstatus diskriminiert werden, und das bloße Ziel, die Belastung der Kommunen besser zu verteilen, rechtfertige eine solche Ungleichbehandlung nicht. Und das ist im Schatten des epochalen "Schrems"-Urteils nur eine von vielen weit reichenden Luxemburger Neuigkeiten dieses denkwürdigen Tages.

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The Proposed TTIP Tribunal and the Court of Justice: What Limits to Investor-State Dispute Settlement under EU Constitutional Law?

In its controversial Opinion 2/13, the European Court of Justice has rejected the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights. The constitutional hurdles the CJEU has erected in this opinion are not only relevant in the area of human rights, but also require us to think hard about the EU constitutionality of the suggested TTIP Tribunal, or any other mechanism of investor-state dispute settlement under future EU international investment agreements. To reduce this uncertainty it may be advisable to request the CJEU through an advisory opinion.

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The Proposed TTIP Tribunal and the Court of Justice: What Limits to Investor-State Dispute Settlement under EU Constitutional Law?

In its controversial Opinion 2/13, the European Court of Justice has rejected the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights. The constitutional hurdles the CJEU has erected in this opinion are not only relevant in the area of human rights, but also require us to think hard about the EU constitutionality of the suggested TTIP Tribunal, or any other mechanism of investor-state dispute settlement under future EU international investment agreements. To reduce this uncertainty it may be advisable to request the CJEU through an advisory opinion.

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Where do we stand on the reform of the EU’s Court System? On a reform as short-sighted as the attempts to force through its adoption

Last October, the CJEU has proposed to double the number of judges at the General Court to help tackling its growing workload. The legislative process this proposal is currently undergoing appears to be marred by a pattern of procedural irregularities whose only aim seems to be the speedy adoption of the reform and – more troublingly – may also be construed as a joint advocacy strategy designed to systematically eliminate any opportunity for a public, well informed and evidence-based debate. Should this reform go through (as it appears likely), damaging evidence might yet come to light and the authority and legitimacy of relevant EU institutions will be further undermined at a time where they have little to spare.

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