That Depends

The controversial debate about Eleanor Sharpston’s position as Advocate General has raised a lot of questions: political as well as legal. Many of the legal questions have not been decided by the Courts, the law is ambiguous, and the circumstances with one Member leaving the European Union are unprecedented. And yet, the Court of Justice treated those questions as if the answers were straightforward and clear-cut. In doing so, the Court seems to have ignored the complexity of the legal questions and thereby undercut the effectiveness of the proceedings for interim measures.

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It’s Urgent III

10 September 2020 was a watershed moment for the Court of Justice’s independence: the Court, through its Vice-President, has agreed to dismiss its own sitting member without even notifying her of the appeal against the suspensory order protecting her tenure guaranteed in the EU Treaties. It did so by arguing, effectively, that the Member States could dismiss members of the Court at will, and that such decisions were beyond judicial review: AG Sharpston’s fight for the independence of the Court, according to that very Court through its Vice-President, had ‘prima facie’ ‘no prospect of success’.

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