The European Court Of Justice

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1. Which theoretical account best explains the role of the European Court of Justice? The European Court of Justice (ECJ), first created by the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 is situated in Luxembourg. The court’s main objectives were the interpretation and the consistent and uniform application of the treaty across all Member States. With the exception of the Maastricht Treaty (1992) the ECJ has gained influence through the different treaties over time. The ECJ unlike any other international justice system is able to cooperate directly with its citizens who are able to directly invoke a European provision before a European Court through ‘direct effect’. Further EU law has supremacy over the national laws in individual Member…show more content…
The argument of “legal autonomy” suggests that because of the Member State’s lack of attention paid to the ECJ during the 1960s and 1970s led to the ECJ having power beyond its duties. The neo-functionalist perspective also considers the notion of ‘spillover’, which implies that the decision made by Member States to put certain policy areas into the control of different supranational institutions led to pressure being placed on the extension of such power on other sectors. The approach suggests that integration is unintended and yet inevitable. According to Burley and Mattli (1993), neo functionalism explains “how and why nation states cease to be wholly sovereign, how and why they voluntarily mingle, merge and mix with their neighbors so as to lose the factual attributes of sovereignty while acquiring new techniques for resolving conflicts between themselves”. Neo functionalism holds the idea that political actors “transfer” their “domestic alliances” in national to supranational settings as they become more successful in achieving political goals. Anne Marie Burley and Walter Mattli also argue that the legal integration process has two principal dimensions. The first is the development from treaty law to secondary Community law and hold supremacy over the domestic laws of Member States. The second dimension is the process whereby legal regulation grows from being limited to one specific domain to expanding to different areas including

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