CLEER WP 2010/6 - Eckes

International law as law of the EU: The role of the Court of Justice

Christina Eckes

Lately, the Court of Justice has been harshly criticised for having unduly restricted the effects of international law within the European legal order. Cases such as Van Parys, Kadi, Mox Plant, Intertanko, and Commune de Mesquer have led scholars to argue that the Court of Justice is becoming less international law friendly. This brings interesting questions to the fore: has the case-law changed? And if there is a change, is this change due to a different attitude of the Court of Justice towards international law? What factors could have influenced the recent decisions of the Court of Justice? This working paper addresses these questions. It analyses the Court’s recent decisions concerning international law, contrasts them with earlier rulings and places them in the broader context of the Court’s understanding of the European legal order. The analysis leads to a more nuanced conclusion. The Court’s attitude towards international law cannot easily be placed on a one dimensional scale of ‘international law friendliness’. Finally, four observations are made on what might have influenced the Court’s rulings in recent years.


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CLEER Working Papers 2010/6