060 Representation and Adjudication of Interests in the Supra-National European Legal Order

Tuesday, June 25, 2013: 2:00 PM-3:45 PM
5.55 (PC Hoofthuis)
Courts adjudicating on transnational law are faced with a particularly complex array of stakeholders. As well as the usual material interests that any law suit raises, there are questions of conflicts between supra-national, national and sub-national levels of government, of identity and solidarity within and between diverse population groups, and of recognition of those groups. These conflicts become particularly pointed in times of crisis. The way courts choose to frame law and disputes  - and transnational law is notably indeterminate - pushes some interests to the fore, and marginalizes or excludes others, potentially redefining, escalating, or resolving the conflicts. This panel looks at the how the Court of Justice of the European Union responds to and manages interests that are pleaded before it.

Institutionally, there is a focus on how the specifically supra-national identity of the CJEU and its self-conscious commitment to integration and to European constitution building, and contests for authority between it and national supreme courts, shape the form of its case law. Alongside this, papers also look at the different types of goal which are pursued at national and European level, and the different forms of democratic justification which each level of legislation enjoys. How are these differences represented in law? Comparison between the techniques of the CJEU and the European Court of Human Rights is used to highlight the varying ways interests can be defined in supra-national adjudication. The goal which links all the papers is an attempt to draw on both legal and political factors to explain how interests succeed or fail at the European level, and to avoid the trap of an over-reliance on either legal detail or political strategy.

The panel can be located within an number of currently topical, or ongoing academic discussions about aspects of the EU. It contributes to academic discussion of EU legitimacy, and the extent to which the CJEU is a legitimating or delegitimating factor which complements, replaces, or is in tension with majoritarian democratic legitimation; to discussion about the role of law in EU integration, and whether either texts or path-dependent case law provide explanations of the integration process; to discussion of the EU as a destabilising factor, whose primary effect is to re-engineer Member State institutions and communities; and to discussions about the preservation and necessity of national identity within a supra-national order.

Jessica Lawrence
Jessica Lawrence
Interests, identities and European legal orders
Geoff Gordon, vu university amsterdam
See more of: Session Proposals