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An Exercise in Legal Honesty: Re-writing the Court of Justice and the Bundesverfassungsgericht. IHS Political Science Series No. 136, February 2014

Everson, Michelle (2014) An Exercise in Legal Honesty: Re-writing the Court of Justice and the Bundesverfassungsgericht. IHS Political Science Series No. 136, February 2014. [Policy Paper]

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    At a time of crisis – a true state of emergency – both the Court of Justice of the European Union and the German Federal Constitutional Court have failed the rule of law in Europe. Worse still, in their evaluation of the ersatz crisis law, which has been developed in response to financial and sovereign debt crises, both courts have undermined constitutionality throughout Europe. Each jurisdiction has been implicated within the techocratisation of democratic process. Each Court has contributed to an incremental process of the undermining of the political subjectivity of European Citizens. The results are depressing for lawyers who are still attached to notions of constitutionality. Yet, we must also ask whether the Courts could have acted otherwise. Given the original flaws in the construction of Economic and Monetary Union, as well as the politically pre-emptive constraints imposed by global financial markets, each Court might thus be argued to have been forced to suspend immediate legality in a longer term effort to secure the character of the legal jurisdiction as a whole. Crisis can and does defeat the law. Nevertheless, what continues to disturb is the failure of law in Europe to open up any perspective for a return to normal constitutionality post crisis, as well as its apparent inability to give proper and honest consideration to the hardship now being experienced by millions of Europeans within crisis. This contribution accordingly seeks to reimagine each Judgment in a language of legal honesty. Above all, this contribution seeks to suggest a new form of post-national constitutional language; a language which takes as its primary function, proper protection of democratic process against the ever encroaching powers of a post-national executive power. This contribution forms a part of an on-going effort to identify a new basis for the legitimacy of European Law, conducted jointly and severally with Christian Joerges, University of Bremen and Hertie School of Government, Berlin. Differences do remain in our theoretical positions; hence this individual essay. Nevertheless, the congruence between pluralist and conflict of law approaches to the topic are also readily apparent. See, for example, Everson & Joerges (2013).

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Constitutionality, rule of law, Bundesverfassungsgericht, European Stability Mechanism, Court of Justice of the European Union, Maastricht Judgement, Economic and Monetary Union, European Charter for Fundamental Rights, Treaty for European Union, European Central Bank
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > law & legal affairs-general (includes international law)
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Court of Justice/Court of First Instance
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Institute for Advanced Studies (Vienna), Department of Political Science > IHS Political Science Series
    Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2015 15:28
    Number of Pages: 40
    Last Modified: 07 Apr 2015 15:28

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