POSTS BY Martijn van den Brink

Is the Reasoning in "Coman" as Good as the Result?

The Court of Justice of the European Union has not always enjoyed the reputation of being particularly LGBT-friendly, but its standing among those pushing for the better protection of rights of same-sex couples is likely to have improved considerably following Coman. While I agree with the substantive result of the decision, I am uncertain if the CJEU’s reasoning is equally convincing. My two main points of critique concern the interpretative techniques applied and the relationship between national identity and fundamental rights.

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The EU’s limited justice capacities

The starting premise behind Europe’s Justice Deficit? is that we have to associate justice not only with the state, but also with sub- and supra-state entities. Considering the depth and breadth of European integration, the EU cannot escape our scrutiny; the EU is, as the editors remark, ‘clearly at the very least a potential agent of (in)justice’. One cannot but wholeheartedly agree with this starting assumption, but we should also acknowledge that it leaves a very important question unanswered: does the EU possess the same capacities for delivering (in)justices as other entities, in particular the state? Can we simply apply our justice vocabulary to the EU without even the slightest modicum of translation that takes into account the context within which the EU is situated? While it is not denied that the EU has the ability to deliver justice, it is suggested that there are limits to the EU’s justice capacities.

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