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Effectiveness versus Procedural Protection – Tensions triggered by the EU law mandate of ex officio review

Authors Allison Östlund
ISBN 9783848760046
Publisher Nomos
Place of publication Nomos-Nomos
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Public Administration
Centre for European Research (CERGU)
Language en
Keywords Judicial protection, procedural justice, substantive justice, dispositive principle, ex officio review, effectiveness of EU law.
Subject categories Procedural law, Constitutional law, Public law, Comparative law, European law


This study deals with frictions arising when the effectiveness of EU law encounters national rules preventing judges from applying EU law of their own motion. It maps pivotal factors in the CJEU’s solutions for striking a balance in a way that ensures both substantive and procedural protection. Support is lent to a theoretical approach of distilling the beneficiaries of effectiveness, effective judicial protection under EU law, and national standards of procedural protection. This methodological lens located a key dividing line between ensuring substantive protection of the Union law beneficiary and ensuring procedural protection for all litigants. Requiring a national judge to examine applicable Union law ex officio is the solution that best promotes its correct implementation, i.e. substantive protection. Yet, this is a controversial duty to lay down, because it runs contrary to the principle of party disposition. While by and large respecting procedural autonomy, the conditioned obligation of ex officio review identified in this work has the capacity of undercutting procedural equality. Die Arbeit untersucht das Spannungsfeld zwischen einem fairen Resultat und Fairplay im Rechtsverfahren. Bislang hat der Europaische Gerichtshof es traditionell abgelehnt, hier eine klare Wahl zu treffen, indem er sich in Vorabentscheidungen im Zusammenhang mit der ex officio-Uberprufung weitgehend dem nationalen Recht unterwirft. Diese Arbeit zeigt, dass spezifische Schutzvorrechte zunehmend substantiell korrekte Urteile hervorgebracht haben, wahrend ein neuer Grundrechtsansatz den individuellen Verfahrensschutz nicht gefordert hat.

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