Menu

Law of International Dispute Resolution

0 Comment

The Treaty of Rome, in establishing the EEC in 1958, conceptualized a dynamic Europe to be an integrated regional economic and political union, providing governance for a common market and organizing the steady growth of economic interdependence between the Member States. This new European environment which sharply defied the prevailing Westphalian state model – based on territoriality and autonomy – sought to engage states in an international contractual arrangement that establishes authority structures superseding territorial boundaries and transgressing autonomy. Such a task was achieved by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) through the constitutionalisation of the Treaty of Rome, consequently cementing the legal foundation for an integrated European economy and polity and by the subsequent Treaties that followed.
The most significant feature of the European Court of Justice is undoubtedly the doctrine of supremacy of Community law, which has continued to be the cause of much confusion and controversy regarding its actual Treaty position and entailment. The EC Treaty does not expressly provide for supremacy – there is no Article which clearly states that Community law is supreme over the national laws of the Member States – however, certain Articles of the EC Treaty impliedly require supremacy to be in effect. I will argue that in order to fulfil the main objectives of fostering integration stipulated by the Treaty of Rome, Community law requires supremacy of the ECJ which is provided through the interpretation of the European Community Treaties and case laws – whether categorically imposed or not. The need for an effective and uniform EC law applying within national legal orders in compliance to a voluntary limitation of sovereignty by Member States is critical to the concept of integration.
By considering the fact that supremacy is ultimately perceived throughout national courts to be a monolithic holy concept which bears tremendous implications if removed or limited, the question is then raised as to how Member States receive the ‘supreme nature’ of Community Law. In attempting to clarify the need for a supreme legal authority for integration, I will examine the supremacy of EC law and state its Treaty position with particular emphasis on significant case-laws that have shaped the supremacy debate. Furthermore, I will observe the Constitutionalisation of the Treaty system, looking at the interplay of the doctrine of direct effect and doctrine of supremacy. under what conditions Member States might be provoked to challenge the authority of the ECJ. the expanding competence of the ECJ which now includes a political and judicial interplay of decision-making. and conclude with a look at what the Constitutional Treaty would have signified in terms of legalizing the doctrine of supremacy and how the rejection has started questioning whether the Community law should be considered above and beyond national laws and if it has gone too far already.
The role of the European Court of Justice in developing the legal means for the integration process and constructing a constitution from the Treaty of Rome