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The efficacy of the principle of supremacy of EU law depends on its reception in national constitutional courts. Discuss - Essay Example

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The Efficacy of the Principle of Supremacy of EU Law Depends On Its Reception in National Constitutional Courts The principle of supremacy is the key element in the legal system of the European Community. It makes sure that the Community law is applied uniformly and in an effective manner…
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The efficacy of the principle of supremacy of EU law depends on its reception in national constitutional courts. Discuss
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Download file to see previous pages Despite being recognized by member states, there are particular reservations made by the national constitutional courts that challenge the principle of supremacy of the Community law. They view supremacy as an ideology rooted in national constitutions instead of being derived from the nature of Community legal order.1 Based on this notion, the constitutional courts possess the right to evaluate whether the European Union institutions conduct themselves within the competences given to them and respect the fundamental human rights and constitutional norms. An example of such cases include the Maastricht and Solange I and II decisions made by the German Constitutional Court, the Maastricht decision made by the Danish Supreme Court, and the Frontini and Granital decisions made by the Italian Constitutional Court. France offers a good example of how the supremacy of the European Union law depends on the reception of the national constitutional court. In France, the Constitutional Council frequently subjects new treaties to preliminary evaluation. The Constitution can be amended before the ratification process if an incompatibility is seen and this practice is crucial because it significantly minimizes the risk of constitutional conflict with the Community law.2 The acceptance of the Community law supremacy remains a contentious issue for case law. This is specifically evident in the possible conflicts between the national constitution and the European Union norms. The principle of supremacy can give rise to delicate and complex matters. It is crucial to state that no case law has ever addressed the issue of EU law supremacy and the national constitution. When a conflict exists between the ordinary domestic legislation and primary EU law, it is anticipated that the courts cannot hesitate to offer influence to the principle of supremacy.3 For the constitutional courts, the mere acceptance of the supremacy of EU law over the national constitutional law is equated to rendering the courts redundant.4 The supremacy of the European Union law is among the four constitutional doctrines of the European Union (EU) law. The supremacy has no formal foundation in the original or first Treaty of European Community. Nonetheless, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) based on the conception of the new legal order established it. This can be well illustrated by its landmark case (Flaminio Costa v. ENEL) in which it was established that there existed a conflict between the Italian laws on national electricity monopoly and the EC (European Community) provisions permitting the free movement of goods. The ECJ created a clear hierarchy between the national law and EC by stating that in contrast with the normal international treaties, the EEC had established its legal system in which an entry into the Treaty force became an important part of the member states’ legal systems and in which their courts are required to apply.5 The court further ruled that the law emanating from the Treaty (that is, a self-governing source of law) was not possible to be overridden by the domestic legal provisions because of its original and special nature. The reactions to the principle were different among the Member States. It is important to note that the principle of supremacy over the national laws has been recognized by the Member States. Difficulties have emerged in acknowledging the absolute supremacy over the ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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