Squaring the PSPP Circle

The PSPP judgment made a core problem of the European Union painfully visible as the supremacy of EU law clashed with national constitutional identity. There is, however, a possibility to square this circle: national apex courts could be empowered to issue ‘declarations of incompatibility’ under Article 4(2) TEU as an alternative to the disapplication of EU law.

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Domestic Courts Pushing for a Workable Test to Protect the Rule of Law in the EU

On 17 February 2020, the Oberlandesgericht Karlsruhe passed a decision in a surrender case that we expect to shape the future of the LM-test. Its decision can be seen not only as a result of Luxembourg’s unworkable LM test but also as an acknowledgement of the effect of Poland’s muzzle law on the independence of its judiciary. Shortly after, Rechtbank Amsterdam engaged with this decision, thus making it more likely that the CJEU will have to move forward and develop its test into a more meaningful one.

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Luxembourg’s Unworkable Test to Protect the Rule of Law in the EU

A key rule of law case illustrating the conversation taking place between national judges and the Court of Justice about the how-to of rule of law protection is the CJEU’s LM ruling dealing with the implementation of the European Arrest Warrant. In it the CJEU developed a test to balance mutual trust and individual rights, particularly the right to a fair trial. The Rechtbank Amsterdam and the Karlsruhe Oberlandesgericht applied Luxembourg’s LM test with respect to Polish suspects in a series of recent (interlocutory) rulings. This national case-law is interesting both for its immediate outcome (suspension of surrenders) and its implicit message to Luxembourg: “Sorry, we tried, but your test is unworkable.”

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Junqueras’ Immunity: An Example of Judicial Dialogue

There is no doubt that the criminal prosecution of the "Catalan question" is a stress test for Spanish Justice. One of the last episodes, now with a European dimension, has been the "euro-immunity" of Junqueras. And, in this respect, the political and journalistic readings of the judicial decisions issued by the Spanish Supreme Court and by the Court of Justice of the European Union emphasize the confrontation. However, in my modest opinion, I believe that these decisions are an example of dialogue between courts, necessary to manage the current pluralism where legal orders are intertwined without clear hierarchies.

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In Rights We Trust

Cases concerning the execution of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) provide seemingly endless material for new questions of fundamental importance to the relationship of the multiple constitutional layers in Europe. In a barely noted judgment in the case of Romeo Castaño v. Belgium, the European Court of Human Rights has now added an important piece to this puzzle. The judgment indicates that, in the light of other recent jurisprudence of both the Court of Justice of the EU and the ECtHR, both Courts are on their way to find a workable framework to address some of the issues in this field.

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Ein Rückschritt im Dialog der Gerichte: Der BGH übergeht den EGMR

Der Dialog zwischen dem BGH in Karlsruhe und dem EGMR hat spätestens seit den Caroline-Urteilen aus Straßburg gut funktioniert. In einem Urteil aus dem letzten Monat scheint der III. Zivilsenat des BGH dagegen den Blick über den Rhein zu scheuen. Bei der Frage, ob ein Verstoß gegen die Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention vorliegt, verlässt er sich ausschließlich auf seine eigene Rechtsprechung und übergeht den EGMR.

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Talk to me like Lawyers do – Celmer returns to the High Court of Ireland

The Celmer case is back before the High Court of Ireland, which gave a further judgment on 01 August 2018. The decision provides a first insight into the practical application of the CJEU’s ruling, most notably its encouragement of executing judicial authorities to enter into dialogue.

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