The Schrödinger’s Advocate General

We know Brexit means Brexit but should it also mean violating EU Primary Law? Eleanor Sharpston QC, one of the Advocates General of the European Court of Justice, launched an unprecedented legal action "against the EU and her own judicial colleagues after attempts were made to sack her": The national governments of 27 EU Member States decided to terminate her appointment early. Why? Because Brexit ought to mean Brexit or so it seems.

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National Courts Cannot Override CJEU Judgments

The European Union is a community based on the rule of law. The EU legal order is the backbone that holds the EU together, and the German Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling in Weiss poses a profound threat to that legal order. This threat goes far beyond the potential consequences of the Weiss ruling for European monetary policy. We write this statement to express our shared view that the German Court’s assertion that it can declare that a CJEU judgment “has no binding force in Germany” is untenable and must be forcefully rejected. We also write to challenge those versions of scholarship on constitutional pluralism and constitutional identity that would defend the authority of any national court to make such a ruling and that helped (even if unintentionally) encourage it to do so.

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The Bundesbank is under a legal obligation to ignore the PSPP Judgment of the Bundes­verfassungs­gericht

If there is a situation undermining the rule of law, then it is exactly this: The Bundesbank is under a legal obligation to ignore the PSPP Judgment of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (under EU law), and the Bundesbank is under a legal obligation to follow the PSPP Judgment of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (under German constitutional law). How has it come to this?

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Why Egenberger Could Be Next

Soon, the Federal Constitutional Court will decide on the Egenberger case that raises important questions at the intersection of anti-discrimination law and religious policy. The decision is an opportunity to address critical questions to the European Court of Justice – a court that lacks dogmatic subtlety and sensitivity with regard to religion and cultural policy as an analysis of its case law shows.

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When Managed Recognition Turns into Outright Denial

Kalypso Nicolaïdis has referred to managed recognition as an exercise in legal empathy mediated through conditions and limits, and resulting from the ‘eternal dance of law and politics’. The notion lends a useful lens to capture the relation between European top courts. In the version of that relation emerging from the PSPP judgment, this lens magnifies a disruption, a side effect, and an alternative course.

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Is Egenberger next?

When judges must rely on newspapers to clarify a decision they decided a week before, something seems to have gone wrong. However, while the BVerfG seems to be taken aback by the storm of indignation that burst upon them since last week’s PSPP decision, the judges remain adamant in their criticism of the CJEU. Luxembourg should perhaps even fear another ultra vires decision.

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Fight, flight or fudge?

Karlsruhe’s latest judgement on the PSPP moves the German state closer to a full-fledged fight with either the EU or its own Constitutional Court by threatening to prohibit Germany’s participation in a programme that has existential significance for the euro. To resolve this dilemma, perhaps nothing short of a revolutionary moment would be required.

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