Patching a gap in the EU’s system of judicial remedies

In the judgment in case C-575/18 P last week, the Court of Justice closed a hole in the EU’s system of judicial protection: it ruled that judicial review of a Commission’s claim of own resources under Regulation 1150/2000 could be obtained through an action for damages for unjust enrichment based on analogous application of Art. 268, 340 (2) TFEU. This case shines a light both on the deficiencies in the EU system of legal remedies and on the approach of the Court of Justice in addressing them.

Continue Reading →

Czechs and Balances – If the Epidemiological Situation Allows…

In the Czech Republic, the COVID-19 crisis has brought not only a general state of chaos but also a considerable shift of powers to the executive branch. The first shift, impairing the legislative branch, was triggered by the declaration of a state of emergency on 12 March 2020. The second shift, diminishing also the role of the judiciary, was caused by a ruling in which the Constitutional showed its unwillingness to interfere with the government’s steps.

Continue Reading →

The Kundera Case and the Neurotic Collective Memory of Postcommunism

History is a battlefield of present politics. Dealing with the past reveals the power struggles and strategies of the present. Past events are both denounced and glorified by political agents of the present hoping to weaken their enemies. However, the past also contains injustices and political crimes and any decision not to deal with them in the present only reaffirms them and confirms the unjust status of their victims. Not to contend with the past injustices thus compromises the legitimacy of the present system of positive law. To deal, or not to deal with the past, indeed, is an important question. However, it is also inseparable from questions of which past is to be dealt with and how.

Continue Reading →

Von der Freiheit, sein Kind daheim zur Welt zu bringen

Wer es erlebt hat, wird mir zustimmen: Es gibt kaum einen intimeren, mächtigeren, das Innerste buchstäblich nach außen kehrenderen Moment im Leben als die Geburt des eigenen Kindes. Bis zu welcher Grenze ist es dem Staat erlaubt, diesen Moment unter seine fürsorgliche Kontrolle zu bringen, zu meiner und meines Kindes Sicherheit, notfalls auch gegen meinen Willen? Diese Frage sucht der EGMR heute in zwei tschechischen Fällen zu beantworten. Er plagt sich erkennbar dabei, springt aber im Ergebnis der Mutter und ihrer Freiheit, vor, während und nach der Geburt über sich selbst und über ihr Kind zu bestimmen, zur Seite.

Continue Reading →

Nuclear War between the Court of Justice and Czech Constitutional Court (hopefully) averted

There has been an incessant debate in the last decades which court holds the highest cards in the EU. Is it the Court of Justice or national courts, namely those of constitutional rank? It seems that the judges in Luxembourg argue for their primacy, while at least some of the national ones tend to disagree. […]

Continue Reading →

Der Krieg der Richter findet doch statt – in Tschechien

Im Februar hatte das tschechische Verfassungsgericht für große Aufregung gesorgt, als es ein Urteil des EuGH für ultra vires und damit für unanwendbar erklärte – bekanntlich eine Idee des Bundesverfassungsgerichts, das sich allerdings stets wohlweislich gehütet hat, dieselbe in die Tat umzusetzen. Jetzt scheint die Sache zu eskalieren: Die Kollegen vom tschechischen Obersten Verwaltungsgericht nämlich […]

Continue Reading →

The Czech Ultra Vires Revolution: Isolated Accident or Omen of Judicial Armageddon?

The Czech Constitutional Court’s recent decision to declare a previous CJEU judgment ultra vires has raised considerable concern in the EU legal community. Jan Komarek on this blog accused the CCC of “playing with matches”. Arthur Dyevre analyzes the situation from a game theory and international relations perspective:   By ARTHUR DYEVRE On the face […]

Continue Reading →

Playing With Matches: The Czech Constitutional Court’s Ultra Vires Revolution

By JAN KOMAREK When the Czech Constitutional Court (CCC) declared the CJEU’s judgment in C-399/09 Landtová “ultra vires”, one of my colleagues commented: “giving Solange into their hands was like to let children play with matches”. I am afraid it is the adequate description of the decision, which is difficult to explain in legal terms […]

Continue Reading →

Hat Tschechiens Verfassungsgericht die Ultra-Vires-Bombe gezündet?

Es war das Bundesverfassungsgericht, das sie einst erfunden hat, die Ultra-Vires-Bombe. Im Maastricht-Urteil hatte es sich für kompetent erklärt, notfalls “ausbrechende Rechtsakte” der Europäischen Union als verfassungswidrig zu kassieren und so die gleiche Wirkung des EU-Rechts gewissermaßen unter einen nationalen Verfassungsvorbehalt zu stellen. Im Lissabon-Urteil hatte es diese Kompetenz noch ausgebaut, und zwischenzeitlich sah es […]

Continue Reading →