The Constitutionalisation of the Treaties by the European Court of Justice

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The Constitutionalisation of the Treaties by the European Court of Justice Introduction ============ On it's formation in 1957 the European Economic Community Treaty[1] was seemingly another international treaty to which the six original Member States[2] had signed. In the realm of international law such treaties are binding merely on the governments of Member States which have signed them. In it's essential provisions, the Treaty made reference only to the Member States who themselves had no reason to believe this Treaty would be any different. However, it was latent from the start that this Treaty had the potential to extend beyond the reach of previous international treaties[3].…show more content…
The 'interpretation' of Article 234 ----------------------------------- In Van Gend en Loos v Nederlandse Administratie der Balastigen[8], the plaintiff, a Dutch firm, tried to invoke Article 12 (now 25)[9] of the EC Treaty before a Dutch tribunal, the Tariefcommissie. Using the Article 234 procedure the Tariefcommissie referred two questions to the Court. Firstly, 'Whether Article 12…has direct application within the territory of a Member State, in other words, whether nationals of such a State can, on the basis of the article in question, lay claim to individual rights which the courts must protect'.[10] It was argued by the Dutch and Belgian Governments that this reference concerned the application of the Treaty and not it's interpretation as required by Article 234, and hence that the Court had no jurisdiction to consider it. The query, they considered, as a matter of Dutch constitutional law, should be answered by the Dutch national courts, subject to Articles 226 and 227, which allow the Commission and Member States to challenge actions of other Member States. In a superficial holding that this reference related to interpretation 'only',

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