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Primacy of EU Law over National Law - Essay Example

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The most salient features of the new "Constitution for Europe," which was finalized in 2004, are the provisions on the so-called Community Method and on "subsidiarity." For the first time, the Constitution also gives European citizens the right to ask the Union to launch initiatives…
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Primacy of EU Law over National Law
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Primacy of EU Law over National Law

Regulations are laws with general application, such that member states are under no strict liability to adopt them into national law. In the case of directives, that obligation is unconditional on the part of member states, although they can choose the form and methods by which to implement an EC directive 2.
These provisos in the new EU Constitution are highlighted by this paper in its discussion of how to bring law and order to European countries if the EU law relevant to a particular case contravenes the national law of a member state; if an EC regulation favors one national group over another; or if an EC law that could bolster a local case has no equivalent version in the member state that is hearing the case. In so doing, the paper presents two make-believe cases involving consumer welfare promotion and environmental protection, two areas of concern high on the agenda of the new Constitution as embodied in Article II-62 and Article II-97, respectively. Both areas need state legislation to give them real substance.
In 2006, EC issued E...
The directive imposes criminal liability on anyone who keeps toxic
chemicals in his property without sufficient safeguards to prevent leakage. If the stored chemicals, which were specified in the EC directive, escape into the atmosphere and cause harm to people, the offense carries a maximum fine of 150,000 euros or its equivalent. In UK, authorities believed there was no need to enact a new law based on the EC directive because there is a similar environmental law already in place. In March 2007, or one year after UK member states were supposed to have introduced the EC directive into their own legal systems, a man named Simon fell ill after eating vegetable grown in his garden, which is adjacent to a warehouse of Otis Chemicals Ltd. that stored the chemicals identified in the EC directive.


If you're a lawyer representing Otis Chemicals, do you think Simon can sue your company in UK under the EC environmental directive based on the direct effect principle Can UK authorities also prosecute Otis under the same EC directive


Assuming that the chemical substance in question is among those identified in the EC environmental directive, Simon can invoke the same EU law in bringing a case against Otis Chemicals before UK courts. This he can do whether or not UK has adopted the provisions of the said EC law into a national law. Under the Community Method principle of the new EU Constitution, any law enacted by the Community automatically becomes an integral part of the law of a member state, whose courts are ... Read More
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