PluriCourts Lunch Seminar
PluriCourts Lunch Seminar with Dan Keleman.
Please note that the lunch seminar will start at 12.00.
This article analyzes how judicial politics sparked by processes of transnational integration
evolve over time, focusing on the exemplary case of the European Union (EU). Interactions
between national courts of EU member states and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have been a crucial motor of European integration. Scholars have traced how lower national courts
empowered themselves by cooperating directly with the ECJ to apply EU law and challenge
government statutes as well as their judicial superiors. We argue that the institutional dynamics identified by this “judicial empowerment thesis” proved self-eroding over time, incentivizing domestic high courts to reassert control over domestic judicial hierarchies and influence the development EU law in ways that were also encouraged by the ECJ. Triangulating between analysis of an original dataset of all cases referred to the ECJ from national courts between 1957 and 2013 as well as case study and interview evidence, we find strong support for our argument.
We conclude by assessing the double-edged consequences of high courts' growing role over
transnational legal governance in Europe, suggesting that it signals the institutional maturation of the EU legal order but risks limiting access to the ECJ and weakening the decentralized enforcement of European law.
PluriCourt Seminars are a forum for pluridisciplinary discussion of core issues relating to international courts and tribunals. PluriCourts scholars or invited speakers present new and ongoing research or comment on current questions. The seminars are open to everyone.