The Politics of Judging EU Law: A New Approach to National Courts in the Legal Integration of Europe

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

This research aims to present a comprehensive analysis of the political and institutional processes that are at work in the judicial application of EU law on a national level. As a main novelty, the research intends to go beyond judicial behaviour models that focus predominantly on explaining the use of preliminary references. One could namely suggest that the way national courts participate in the preliminary reference procedure is not sufficient to assess the available modes for the judicial integration of Europe. Accordingly, the study considers the impact of political institutional and attitudinal factors affecting the judicial enforcement of EU law.
This is done by posing new questions, for instance, the relevance of national
judges’ preferences towards EU legal order and institutions, as well as by
evaluating and reviewing the impact of political and legal institutions on their
behaviour and its consequences for policy areas. First of all, the analysis confirms the influence of judges’ evaluation of EU institutions and their national
counterparts on their self-perception as EU judges and, subsequently, in the
application of EU law. Secondly, the study shows how national institutions, like
governments and national high courts, play a prominent role in shaping national
courts’ incentives for the application of EU law, as they may use their institutional power to circumvent judges’ decisions. Finally, it reviews the strategic use of European instruments such as the CJEU precedent and its doctrines (e.g. supremacy) to overcome domestic threats when applying EU law.
To conclude, the study tries to expand the explanatory power of the middle range accounts of the role national courts played, by integrating the analytical strength of the legalist/ intergovernmentalist theories into neo-functionalism.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMadrid
PublisherInstituto Juan March de Estudios e Inv.
Number of pages390
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Law - EU Judicial Politics, Judicial Behaviour, EU law, National Courts

ID: 148179428