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Constitutional Court in Europe - Essay Example

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Constitutional Court in Europe

The need for an effective and uniform EC law applying within national legal orders in compliance to a voluntary limitation f sovereignty by Member States is critical to the concept f 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' f Community Law. In attempting to clarify the need for a supreme legal authority for integration, I will examine the supremacy f 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 Constitutionalization f the Treaty system, looking at the interplay f the doctrine f direct effect and doctrine f supremacy; under what conditions Member States might be provoked to challenge the authority f the ECJ; the expanding competence f the ECJ which now includes a political and judicial interplay f decision-making; and conclude with a look at what the Constitutional Treaty would have signified in terms f legalizing the doctrine f 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 f the European Court f Justice in developing the legal means for the integration process and constructing a constitution from the Treaty f Rome is a fundamental factor in the eventual expansion f the Community into its form as a Union f soon to be 27 Member States. In order to understand the evolution f the ECJ from its initially idealized form designed by the Member States so that it "could not significantly compromise national sovereignty or national interest", to a judicial organ that entailed national legal organs to acknowledge its supremacy through "significant nonincremental adaptation f Community law, abandoning deeply entrenched, constitutive principles", an insight into the logic behind legal integration needs to be discussed. In respect to the relationship between legal integration and Member States, the neofunctionalist model f integration seeks to explain the role f both supranational and subnational actors and why nation-states accept the eventual infiltration f the Community law into the spheres f their national laws, which demands full jurisdiction and a limitation to their sovereignty. Legal integration, as perceived by the neofunctionalist model, is a two way process in which supranational and subnational actors both seek to further their own interests by respectively accepting and acceding certain rights and obligations in return for long term benefits, in a "'functional domain' shielded from the interplay f direct political interests".
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The most significant feature f the European Court f Justice is undoubtedly the doctrine f supremacy f Community law, which has continued to be the cause f 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 f the Member States - however, certain Articles f the EC Treaty impliedly require supremacy to be in effect…
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